The quarterback landscape was altered this week with the news that AJ McCarron won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals and will be an unrestricted free agent. This week’s mailbag question focuses on how McCarron’s sudden availability could impact the New York Jets.
If Jets fail to land Cousins, who would be a better choice McCown or McCarron? #jetsmail
— Google Me (@JCos201) February 16, 2018
@RichCimini: At the start of free agency last year, the Jets received a call from the Bengals, who offered McCarron in a trade. The Jets gave it some thought but nixed the proposal because they were focused on free agents and didn’t want to surrender compensation in a trade. As everybody knows, they wound up signing Josh McCown — a terrific free-agent move.
New year, same outcome?
This time, the circumstances are different because McCarron is a free man, no strings attached. Based on what we know from last year, I have to think he’d be a fallback option if the Jets fail to sign Kirk Cousins. I don’t know where McCarron falls in the pecking order of Plan B candidates, but I can tell you one thing: Personally, I’d take McCown over McCarron.
You know what you’re getting with McCown; McCarron is a mystery man.
McCarron showed promise in three 2015 starts (a 2-1 record, with four touchdown passes and no interceptions), but I think it’s a stretch to say he’s the next Jimmy Garoppolo. Heck, I’m not even sure Garoppolo deserves to be put on that kind of pedestal. After all, he has had only seven starts, the past five of which were meaningless games. At least McCarron has started a playoff game. Should’ve won it, too, except a couple of his numbskull teammates let him down.
I talked to a scout who believes McCarron’s ceiling is that of a solid game manager. (He has topped the 200-yard mark only once.) Is that worth a three-year, $45 million contract, including $18.5 million guaranteed? That’s what Mike Glennon got last year as a free agent, and you can bet someone will pay McCarron at least that much. As for the Jets, it makes more financial sense to re-up with McCown, who probably will command less than $12 million on a one-year deal.
Neither McCown nor McCarron is a surefire answer to the long-term quarterback problem. Obviously, McCarron has more growth potential because he’ll be only 28, but his arrival wouldn’t preclude the Jets from taking a quarterback with the sixth pick. Remember, the Chicago Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky after paying Glennon. If you’re going to go that route, you might as well stick with the grizzled vet. My hunch is the Jets feel that way, too.
Source — Washington Football Team to hire 49ers executive Martin Mayhew as GM
The Washington Football Team is hiring Martin Mayhew as its new general manager, a source told ESPN on Thursday, adding another experienced voice to help coach Ron Rivera.
Mayhew interviewed with Rivera on Jan. 16 and had long been considered a strong candidate. Among the other known interviews, Washington also spoke with Ryan Cowden, Tennessee’s vice president of player personnel, Nick Polk, Atlanta’s director of football operations and JoJo Wooden, the Los Angeles Chargers‘ director of player personnel.
Mayhew had a longer track record in front offices and also had earned a reputation for knowing how to work with his head coaches. In Washington, Rivera has the power so the general manager will report to him. He and Mayhew share the same agent, but Mayhew also brings a wealth of experience. He served as Detroit‘s general manager from 2008-15 – after eight years in the Lions’ front office. Rivera has said he wanted someone who also could handle the administrative duties of the position.
ESPN had previously reported that Marty Hurney was expected to be named the team’s new general manager.
Mayhew was named Detroit’s GM late in 2008 after the Lions finished that season 0-16. Detroit was 8-24 in his first two seasons. The Lions made the postseason in 2011 and ’14, the only two years in which they had a winning record during his tenure. Overall, Detroit went 41-63 in his seven-and-a-half seasons.
Mayhew hired Jim Caldwell in 2014 to replace the first coach he had signed, Jim Schwartz. Detroit fired Mayhew midway through the 2015 season. But his hiring of Caldwell paid off: Detroit finished with three winning seasons in Caldwell’s four years with two playoff appearances. It was the first time Detroit had posted consecutive winning seasons since 1994-95.
One person who coached under Mayhew called him “smart, analytical, level-headed” and someone who stayed calm. He was able to have disagreements without it becoming divisive. He also said Mayhew sometimes lacked a gut feel for players, but felt that issue could be lessened if someone else on his staff offered that quality.
Mayhew was the New York Giants’ director of football operations in 2016 before joining San Francisco’s front office a year later. He spent two years as a senior executive and the past two as the vice president of player personnel.
Mayhew played four years as a defensive back in Washington, winning a Super Bowl in the 1991 season. His time in Washington was sandwiched between one season in Buffalo and four in Tampa Bay.
What the Nick Sirianni hire means for Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles – Philadelphia Eagles Blog
Sirianni’s name emerged late in Philadelphia’s extensive coaching search, which included 10 official interviews and plenty of informal flirting. They reached out to gauge the interest of Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley. They put in a request to speak with Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, though any potential conversation was pushed until after Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. They considered hiring New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
But in the end, the Eagles ended up going with the 39-year-old Sirianni, who follows the only Super Bowl-winning coach in the team’s history, Doug Pederson. He comes to Philadelphia without any playcalling experience and with some major shoes to fill.
What does this mean for quarterback Carson Wentz?
Once Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fired Pederson on Jan. 11, it became clear the Eagles preferred the path of trying to keep and fix Wentz instead of trading him, and they gravitated toward candidates who were on the same wavelength. Wentz was at his best when Colts coach Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia. Sirianni was Reich’s right-hand man in Indianapolis and coached quarterbacks in San Diego when Reich was the Chargers’ O-coordinator in 2014 and 2015.
Sirianni has majored in the QB position and is in lockstep with Reich, whom Wentz trusts fully. The odds of Wentz staying in Philadelphia went up when Pederson was fired and likely ticked up another few notches with this decision on this coach.
What drew the Eagles to Sirianni?
Philadelphia had an interview with Sirianni on Tuesday that reportedly spilled into the next day. Buzz began picking up soon thereafter that he was a front-runner for the job alongside McDaniels. He helped the Colts finish in the top 10 in offense two of the past three seasons despite a rotating cast at quarterback. He similarly got a lot out of the Chargers’ receivers when he was their position coach from 2016 to 2017.
A source said Sirianni has “great people skills,” is good with player evaluation and has a strong work ethic. Though maybe not the loudest of personalities, Sirianni is said to have more of an edge to him than it may first appear.
There are also internal dynamics to consider. Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman are deeply involved in the Eagles’ football operations. In order for that power structure to stay intact, the coach has to be amenable to it. Sirianni doesn’t come in with the clout of a McDaniels, for instance, and will likely be fine initially with fitting into that construct and focusing on the coaching side of things.
Did the late start affect whom Philadelphia could hire as coach?
Yes. The Eagles had interest in Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh and Brandon Staley, but those candidates were too far down the road with other teams to seriously consider reversing course once the Eagles jumped into the mix after waiting a week to fire Pederson.
With the hot names quickly scooped up, the only real course of action was to take a deliberate approach and find the right fit.
The Eagles were also coming off a train-wreck 4-11-1 season and didn’t enter the market from a great position of strength. Questions about how things ended with Pederson, the tricky quarterback situation with Wentz and 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts, and the poor salary-cap outlook for 2021 impacted the job’s attractiveness.
What are the concerns about Sirianni?
Sirianni has never called plays. Will he assume those responsibilities while adjusting to his first head-coaching gig? He’ll be making that big leap while operating in one of the country’s most intense media markets. His previous NFL stops were Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Diego and Los Angeles. He’s in store for a whole different experience in Philly.
Sirianni must now build out a staff. The pool has already shrunk with assistants around the league getting snatched up by other new coaches. That process needs to begin in earnest.
Is it the right hire?
There was a strong case to be made for Duce Staley. The degree to which current and former players advocated for him both publicly and behind the scenes is very rare. Staley has the respect of everyone within the Eagles organization, can command a room like few others and earned the opportunity after 10 years as an assistant in Philadelphia, including the past three years as assistant head coach.
There is a legitimate question as to whether Staley’s blunt style would have vibed with Wentz, but there’s a case to be made that you should hire the best coach and let the coach guide the team, and the quarterback room, the way that person sees fit.
Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley makes sure to connect with QB Justin Herbert
“I called him on my way back home,” Staley said about who he contacted first when he learned Sunday that he would be the Chargers’ head coach. “I promise I called [wife] Amy first, but then I called Justin because I wanted him to hear my voice. And I wanted him to know about my family … and then I just wanted to listen for a little bit. Wanted him to hear my energy, maybe see a little bit of vision of what I have for what we want to get accomplished together.”
The 38-year-old Staley said he FaceTimed with Herbert on the way to the Costa Mesa facility Thursday for the introductory news conference “because I wanted him to see us before our big day.”
Staley was the coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams‘ top-ranked defense. And while he wouldn’t go into specifics as to what he’s looking for in an offensive coordinator or offensive scheme, the former college quarterback has an understanding of what it takes on both sides of the ball.
“I’m looking for somebody with character and capacity and that can lead our staff and be part of our vision for how to get the best out of our players.”
Staley did say he would be making the defensive calls and hopes to have a staff in place “in a few weeks.”
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco was asked why he hired a guy with so little NFL coaching experience, including zero on the offensive side.
“Having his background, coming up in high school and college on offense. I think that helps,” Telesco said. “I’m watching the Baltimore and Buffalo playoff game and one coach [Sean McDermott] had a defensive background and the other [John Harbaugh] had a special-teams background. And they both have young quarterbacks and they’re both doing very well.
“There are different ways to do this,” said Telesco, adding that Staley’s brain is “very sharp.”
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