Oct 3, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jets sign veteran K Greg Zuerlein

The New York Jets announced the signing of veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein on Saturday. Terms were not disclosed.

He spent the past two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys after eight years with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams.

Zuerlein, 34, converted 29 of 35 field-goal attempts and 42 of 48 extra-point tries in 16 games with Dallas in 2021.

In 151 games, he has made 82.2 percent of his field goals (264 of 321) and 95.8 percent of his PATs (339 of 354).

A sixth-round pick by the Rams in 2012, Zuerlein earned All-Pro honors and made the Pro Bowl in 2017. He kicked a career-long 61-yard field goal in 2015.

Matt Ammendola and Eddy Pineiro made a combined 21 field goals for the Jets in 2021. Only the Seattle Seahawks (17) and Cleveland Browns (16) had fewer.

Zuerlein’s signing sets up a potential kicker battle this offseason as Pineiro, a restricted free agent, received a $2.43 million contract tender from the Jets earlier this month.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2021; East Rutherford, N.J., USA;  New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (19) pre game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jets working to keep backup QB Joe Flacco

The New York Jets reportedly want veteran Joe Flacco to return as Zach Wilson’s backup quarterback in 2022.

ESPN reported Wednesday that the Jets are in talks with the 37-year-old free agent about a new contract.

Flacco is 0-5 as a starter with New York over the past two seasons, completing 101 of 176 passes for 1,202 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.

He spent his first 11 NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, winning a championship in Super Bowl XLVII, before going to the Denver Broncos in 2019 and the Jets in 2020.

Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, started 13 games as a rookie (3-10 record) and completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 2,334 yards with nine TDs and 11 interceptions. He rushed for 185 yards and four scores.

The ESPN report said the Jets also want to retain restricted free agent quarterback Mike White, who was 1-2 as the starter in 2021. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 953 yards, five touchdowns and eight picks.

–Field Level Media

Don Maynard is shown at Kidd Field in January 1999.

Don Maynard

Hall of Fame WR Don Maynard dies at 86

Hall of Famer Don Maynard, the New York Jets’ all-time time leading receiver, died Monday at age 86.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter confirmed the passing, calling Maynard “a resilient man on and off the field, and someone that his teammates could always count on.”

Maynard was born in Crosbyton, Texas, and starred at UTEP before being drafted in the ninth round by the New York Giants in 1957.

He caught five passes for 84 yards in 12 games with the Giants in 1958, then played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League in 1959 before returning to the Big Apple.

Maynard joined the New York Titans for the inaugural season of the American Football League in 1960. The team changed its name to the Jets in 1963 and ultimately merged with the NFL in 1970.

Maynard caught 627 passes for 11,732 yards and 88 touchdowns — all franchise records — in 172 games with the Titans/Jets from 1960-72, earning four Pro Bowl selections and posting five 1,000-yard seasons. He led the AFL with 1,434 receiving yards in 1967.

Maynard played in two games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973 and caught one pass for 18 yards.

He retired as pro football’s all-time leading receiver with 11,834 yards until Charlie Joiner passed him in 1986.

Maynard was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. The Jets retired his No. 13 and made him a charter member of their Ring of Honor in 2010.

“Don was a great player. He made many of his teammates better football players,” quarterback Joe Namath said, per the Hall of Fame. “Don worked with 25 different quarterbacks throughout his career, and he made most of us better football players.

“He was the man our opponents worried about, the knockout punch. Lightening in a bottle. Nitro just waiting to explode. I mean he could fly. But with the grace of a great thoroughbred. The man could flat play. He galloped through the best of the very best football players of the world.”

Maynard played in some of the most celebrated games in football history.

With the Giants, he appeared in the 1958 NFL Championship Game, a 23-17 loss to the Baltimore Colts known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” With the Jets, he participated in the Super Bowl III upset against Baltimore on Jan. 12, 1969. Maynard also competed in the debut of “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 21, 1970.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) is sacked by New York Jets defensive end Shaq Lawson (50) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Lawson was called for a facemask penalty on the play. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jets cut DE Shaq Lawson after one year with team

The New York Jets released veteran defensive end Shaq Lawson on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Lawson recorded only one sack in 14 games (seven starts) during his lone season in New York. He entered the season with 20 1/2 sacks in 64 games (24 starts) with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

Lawson would have counted $9 million against the salary cap if he remained with the Jets next season. He had been a healthy scratch in two of the Jets’ past three games.

The Jets also released veteran safety Sharrod Neasman. He had 14 tackles and one interception in 11 games (one start).

On Sunday, the Jets (4-12) will visit the Buffalo Bills (10-6) in the regular-season finale for both teams.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; East Rutherford, N.J.,USA;  
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh in the first half against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets coach Robert Saleh clears COVID protocols

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh returned to work Wednesday after clearing COVID-19 protocols.

“It’s like the first day of school,” Saleh told reporters. “I’m ready to go another 18 weeks.”

Saleh, 42, tested positive on Dec. 22 and missed the Jets’ 26-21 defeat of the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday.

The first-year head coach wasn’t alone in rejoining New York (4-11) as it prepares for Sunday’s visit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4).

Saleh said quarterback Joe Flacco, tight end Kenny Yeboah, cornerbacks Michael Carter II and Lamar Jackson, linebackers Noah Dawkins and Hamsah Nasirildeen and defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi have also cleared the league’s health and safety protocols.

Several other players could also return soon from the COVID list, Saleh said. That includes wideout Vyncint Smith, safety Ashtyn Davis, offensive linemen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Alijah Vera-Tucker, and defensive linemen John Franklin-Myers and Hamilcar Rashed.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) attempts a pass against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Promising QBs search for more when Jaguars, Jets meet

The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets selected Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson with the respective Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The two struggling quarterbacks will look to get on track at the other’s expense on Sunday when the Jaguars visit the Jets at East Rutherford, N.J.

Sunday’s game marks just the fourth time in NFL history that the No. 1 and 2 selections in the draft will meet as starting quarterbacks in their rookie seasons. The last such time came in 2015, when Jameis Winston led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans.

Whether Robert Saleh will be available to see Lawrence vs. Wilson is in question, however, after New York’s head coach tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Should Saleh fail to be cleared to return, tight ends coach Ron Middleton — who guided the team through practice on Wednesday — will handle the head coaching responsibilities on Sunday.

Lawrence and Wilson have yet to pay significant early dividends for their respective teams as those clubs are again in the running for the top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Jaguars (2-12) are slightly “ahead” of the Detroit Lions (2-11-1) for the top pick, while the Jets (3-11) are in the mix.

Lawrence has thrown just one touchdown pass in the last seven games, a stretch in which Jacksonville has posted a 1-6 record after mustering just 73 combined points.

“I hate seeing that because that means we’re not scoring a lot of points,” said Lawrence, who has seen his team average a league-worst 14.0 points per game.

“It would be different if we were scoring points but in the run game or whatever it is, but still able to win games. That’s fine. It’s my job to try to win games, but when you see that and you’re not scoring points, it kinda goes hand-in-hand. It’s disappointing.”

James Robinson boosted his rushing touchdown total to eight after finding the end zone in Jacksonville’s 30-16 loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday. He is the fourth undrafted player in the common-draft era with at least 15 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons.

Jacksonville activated Ryquell Armstead off Green Bay’s practice squad, with fellow running back Carlos Hyde (concussion) placed on injured reserve.

Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold could make an impact on Sunday after being placed on the designated to return list from injured reserve Wednesday. The trusted target of Lawrence had 28 catches for 324 yards before suffering an MCL sprain against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 28.

“He’s a great talent for us. He’s got a lot of speed and I think it presents a problem for the defense,” interim coach Darrell Bevell said. “But you know, we’ll just see how far he can come in the next few days.”

While Wilson has yet to blossom, he rushed for a touchdown for the third time in four games during New York’s 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.

That scoring output represented a boon for the Jets, who are averaging the league’s sixth-worst total of 17.9 points per contest.

Already without rookie Elijah Moore (team-leading 538 yards, five receiving touchdowns) and Corey Davis, the Jets could be down another wideout with Jamison Crowder (club-best 50 catches) failing to practice on Wednesday due to a calf injury.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley (back), defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins (knee), cornerback Bryce Hall (illness, non-COVID-19) and safety Elijah Riley (concussion) also didn’t practice on Wednesday.

As the team awaits word on Saleh, Middleton insisted that it will be business as usual as the club attempts to snap its third three-game losing streak of the season.

“I’m strictly team,” Middleton said. “There’s no selfish or personal deal in it at all. It’s strictly team, whatever I can do to help beat the Jaguars on Sunday.”

Linebacker Myles Jack (knee), who leads Jacksonville with 97 tackles, was one of seven Jaguars players who did not practice on Wednesday. Robinson (knee) and defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen (shoulder) were limited.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) attempts a pass against the New York Giants during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins host Jets, look to win sixth in a row

The Miami Dolphins, who are hoping to extend their winning streak to six games on Sunday against the lowly New York Jets, are riding the hot passing arm of Tua Tagovailoa.

Miami (6-7) is more than a touchdown favorite over the visiting Jets (3-10), and that has a lot to do with Tagovailoa, who is second in the NFL with a 70.9 completion percentage.

Over the past three weeks, Tagovailoa has been even better, completing 80 percent of his passes for an average of 249 yards per game.

Tagovailoa doesn’t throw down field much, but Miami’s short passing game is working, thanks in large part to speedy Jaylen Waddle, a rookie first-round pick. Waddle leads Miami in catches (86) and yards (849).

Miami’s other top target is tight end Mike Gesicki, who has 59 receptions for 642 yards.

But despite how well things have gone the past five games, Dolphins coach Brian Flores said he’s wary of the Jets.

“They’ve got some talented players,” Flores said.

It’s faint praise for a Jets team that has lost two straight games and five of its past six, including a 24-17 home defeat to the Dolphins on Nov. 21.

New York has already been eliminated from playoff contention for a franchise-record 11th consecutive year, the longest active drought in the NFL.

One of those “talented players” Flores talked about is Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Predictably, Wilson has struggled as a rookie, missing three games due to injury and compiling a 2-7 record in his nine starts. He is completing just 56.1 percent of his passes and has just six TD passes. He has been intercepted 11 times.

But Jets rookie head coach Robert Saleh hasn’t lost faith in Wilson.

“Zach is the future of this organization,” Saleh said. “He’s extremely talented, and he has a bright head on his shoulders.”

Wilson on Sunday will have to contend with a Dolphins defense that either blitzes or fakes one on every down.

Rookie outside linebacker/defensive end Jaelan Phillips leads Miami with 8 1/2 sacks, and the Dolphins have one of the best cornerback combos in the league in Byron Jones and Xavien Howard.

Bright spots for the Jets this year include Braxton Berrios, a former Miami Hurricanes star who is making a Pro Bowl case as a kickoff returner (28.7 average) and punt returner (13.8).

On defense, linebacker C.J. Mosley leads New York with 118 tackles, including 17 last week against the Saints.

Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (team-high six sacks) and his brother Quincy Williams (82 tackles at linebacker) have played well.

Bryce Hall, who leads New York with 10 passes defensed, is a young cornerback who has emerged as a budding star.

Offensively, Wilson has few healthy weapons as Elijah Moore (43 catches) and Corey Davis (34 catches) are out. That leaves slot receivers Jamison Crowder (team-high 45 catches) and Berrios (32 catches) as the top options.

Meanwhile, three of Miami’s running backs — Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Phillip Lindsay — were placed on the COVID-19 health and safety protocol list on Monday.

The Dolphins are hoping running back Malcolm Brown — who returned to practice on Wednesday — will be ready this week. He has missed six straight games and has been out nearly two months due to a quadriceps injury.

Miami also has an issue at safety, where rookie Jevon Holland was also placed on the COVID list. Safety Brandon Jones was limited this week due to an ankle injury.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  New York Jets wide receiver Keelan Cole (88) rushes with the fooball as Green Bay Packers cornerback Kabion Ento (48) defends during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets activate WR Keelan Cole from COVID list

The New York Jets activated wide receiver Keelan Cole from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

He landed on the list on Nov. 30 and missed last Sunday’s 33-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cole, 28, has 19 catches for 299 yards and no touchdowns in 10 games (seven starts) in his first year with the Jets.

With wideout Corey Davis placed on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week and rookie Elijah Moore missing Wednesday’s practice with a quad injury, Cole could have a big role Sunday when the Jets (3-9) host the New Orleans Saints (5-7).

Cole played his first four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching 159 passes for 2,242 yards and 12 scores in 64 games (23 starts) from 2017-20.

–Field Level Media

Corey Davis of the Jets on the sidelines in the second half as the New England Patriots defeated the NY Jets 25-6 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on September 19, 2021.

The New England Patriots Came To Play The Ny Jets At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On September 19 2021

Jets WR Corey Davis to have season-ending hip surgery

New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis will have season-ending core muscle surgery on Tuesday.

Davis, 26, has battled hip and groin injuries this season after signing a three-year, $37.5 million deal in March.

A team captain, Davis caught two passes for 15 yards in Sunday’s 33-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and finishes the season with 34 receptions for 492 yards and four touchdowns in nine starts.

“I feel awful for Corey. He’s one of the true pros in this league, goes about his business the right way,” Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters Monday afternoon. “Shows up every day to work, he does everything the right way.”

A first-round pick (fifth overall) by Tennessee in 2017, Davis had 207 catches for 2,851 yards and 11 touchdowns in 56 games (48 starts) with the Titans.

–Field Level Media

New York Jets running back Michael Carter (32) carries the ball in the fourth quarter during a Week 8 NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Cincinnati Bengals At New York Jets Oct 31

Jets RB Michael Carter (ankle) out ‘a couple weeks’

New York Jets leading rusher Michael Carter will be sidelined for a few weeks with an ankle injury.

“It’s going to be a couple weeks. He’s dealing with a very mild high-ankle sprain — low-grade high-ankle sprain,” head coach Robert Saleh confirmed Monday.

Carter has rushed for 430 yards and four touchdowns and has 32 catches for 308 yards in 10 games this season.

The 22-year-old rookie was a fourth-round pick out of North Carolina in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Carter left in the third quarter of New York’s 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and was quickly ruled out. He finished with 63 yards on nine carries.

In his absence, Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson will be in line for more carries on Sunday when the Jets visit the Houston Texans in a battle of 2-8 teams.

–Field Level Media