TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is leaving the Jets for the Jaguars, Seferian-Jenkins posted on Thursday while giving gratitude to the Jets. Seferian-Jenkins also visited with the Seahawks.
The deal is for two years and $10 million, and can be worth as much as $11 million, a source confirmed to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.
The Jets increased their offer to Seferian-Jenkins Tuesday night, according to Vacchiano. The original offer was $8 million for two years, with not much guaranteed.
The 25-year-old had a rejuvenating season with the Jets last year as he notched career highs in games (13), yards (357), and receptions (50) while hauling in three touchdowns.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a low-risk waiver claim by the Jets, but they got more than they could've ever expected out of him. Not only did he turn his life around, after alcohol issues and a DUI got him cut from Tampa Bay, but he helped the Jets rediscover the tight end position. He had 50 catches last year and became a strong locker room presence, too.
The Jets didn't seem to value him much, though, only offering him a two-year, $8 million deal with not much guaranteed money, according to a source. They made what that source described as a "weak" late effort to improve that, but by then he was visiting the Seattle Seahawks and then the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he pretty much knew he was gone.
It is not clear at all what the Jets will do at tight end now, though. It was not a strong market at all in free agency, and most of the best options (like Jimmy Graham and Trey Burton) are gone. The Lions recently cut Eric Ebron, and they could certainly give him a shot, but he's not really a great option either.
What are the Jets' plans? A source said that they have high hopes for Jordan Leggett, a fifth-round pick out of Clemson who battled for their starting job last season before suffering a knee injury that eventually landed him on injured reserve. They also see some potential in Eric Tomlinson and Neal Sterling, too.
But Seferian-Jenkins was the most productive tight end the Jets have had in quite a while. At the moment, it looks like next season he's going to be difficult to replace.
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Seferian-Jenkins was reportedly seeking $7 million a year, a significant increase over the $4 million per year deal that the Jets were offering.
Cameron Brate of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just re-upped for less than $7 million per year, albeit on a longer deal, with numbers far better than Seferian-Jenkins put up last year. Brate averaged over 600 yards and seven touchdowns in the last two seasons, whereas Seferian-Jenkins only had 357 yards and three touchdowns last year, although his numbers would have looked better if not for some controversial decisions by the replay booth.
Then again, Trey Burton just signed for $8 million per year with less statistical production than Seferian-Jenkins had last season. Burton is a versatile player who brings more things to the table, though, as he showed when he threw a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.
If the Jets lose Seferian-Jenkins, it shouldn't be too difficult to replace his production, but they'll be relying on Jordan Leggett or a new signing or draft choice to step up.