Year in Review: Jenkins, Jennings, Jerry, J. Johnson, W. Johnson, Jones

Reviewing Janoris Jenkins, Rashad Jennings, John Jerry, Josh Johnson, Will Johnson and Brett Jones

JANORIS JENKINS, CB

2016 Season in Review

Wherever he played, Janoris Jenkins often drew the opponent’s best receiver, and time and again, he shut that receiver down.

Before the start of the 2016 season, Jenkins looked to be a huge gamble given his tendency to gamble while playing with the Rams. Pro Football Focus was, in fact, so down on the Jenkins signing that it made their list of the top 10 worst offseason moves in 2016.

However, Jenkins had big-play making ability as well, which is what the Giants paid for. Often going against the opponent’s top receiver, Jenkins shut guys down by playing aggressively enough without necessarily drawing a flag. He led the Giants with 18 pass breakups, contributing one sack, three interceptions and four tackles for a loss.

The biggest difference for Jenkins, he said in December, was that he didn’t have to take as many gambles as he did while with the Rams.

“Yeah, you take a lot of chances and you need a lot of plays (with the Rams). Here, you can just play within the scheme, play for your teammates and hopefully bring the energy,” he said.

In addition to his outstanding play at cornerback, which earned him a Pro Bowl berth, Jenkins also walked away with a Special Teams Player of the Week award earlier in the season , proving that he was worth every bit of the money paid his way.

Contract Status

(via Spotrac)

Jenkins’ 2017 cap number will jump $7 million, (from $8 million to $15 million. He has a $12.9 million base salary that’s guaranteed. His cap figure makes him the third-highest cap figure on the team, behind quarterback Eli Manning and defensive end Olivier Vernon.

2017 Outlook

With his transition year done, look for Jenkins to be back in the starting lineup where, among the goals he might be looking to achieve in the new season is to boost his interception total.

RASHAD JENNINGS, RB

2016 Season in Review

After reaching career highs in carries and yards and games played in 2015, Jennings had drop-offs in all three of those categories. an early year broken thumb cost him three games, leading to just 13 games played I which he rushed 181 times for 593 yards and three touchdowns.

While the run blocking by the offensive line wasn’t anything to write home about at times, neither was the fact that there were times where Jennings left yardage on the field waiting for blocks to develop rather than using vision to make something out of nothing.

Jennings’ 3.3 yards per carry was his lowest average as a Giant and his second lowest average since 2012, his final season with Jacksonville when he averaged just 2.8 yards per rush.

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, Jennings lacked the burst to make defenders miss and is not the guy you want to see running to the outside given a lack of a quick twitch.

The other part not discussed yet is his receiving skills. Jennings reached career-highs as a Giant in both pass targets (42) and receptions 935), but his yardage (201) was a career-low with the team as was his 5.7 yards per reception.

In pass pro, he’s as solid as they come, but pass pro is only part of a running back’s job description, and the Giants no doubt want much more.

Contract Status

(via Spotrac)

the 2017 season is scheduled to be the last of Jennings’ four-year contract. He’s due a $2.48 million base salary and will count for a $3.062 million cap hit if he is kept.

2017 Outlook

The Giants running game has never quite peaked with Jennings in the lineup, which to be fair, isn’t all on him. Still it would be hard to see Jennings back in blue for another season at his current cap figure for the reasons discussed above in terms of money owed and his productivity and health history.

JOHN JERRY, OL

2016 Season in Review

If nothing else, John Jerry was consistent on a week-to-week basis.

He prepared well, he played through injuries, and he was pretty good at pass blocking thanks to his ability to absorb blocks. Run blocking was another story, the biggest issue being his inability to consistently strike a blow.

Jerry spent the 2016 offseason at LeCharles Bentley’s O-line Performance Center, and there were subtle signs of improvement in his technique in that he set up to pass block a lot faster.

Pass blocking is half of the equation, and Jerry was part of a unit wide problem behind the offense’s inability to consistently get a running game going every week.

Contract Status

(via Spotrac)

Jerry will be an unrestricted free agent.

2017 Outlook

Of all the offseason needs, clearly the offensive line is the most glaring. And with that said, it’s also one of the most complex ones to solve because of the number of different possibilities the team has before it, possibilities which might not necessarily be the long-term solution.

With that all said, Jerry probably has a good chance of returning on a short-term contract given his versatility. Jerry, remember, was initially signed to provide depth; injuries forced him into the starting lineup.

If the Giants can upgrade their depth on that right side of the offensive line, then it makes sense to bring Jerry back on a short-term deal given his familiarity with the offense and his ability to pass protect. If they do take this route, the hope is that Jerry continues to work on his run blocking techniques.

JOSH JOHNSON, QB

2016 Season in Review

Signed before the start of the season after bouncing around the league, Johnson moved up the charts late in the year when Ryan Nassib’s elbow issue landed him on injured reserve.

While some were scratching their heads over the signing of Johnson, the Giants were probably looking to add some insurance after witnessing Nassib’s less than impressive preseason outing.

Johnson, it should be noted, has five NFL starts, four of them as a rookie. With the Giants having cut off media access to the full team practices, it was hard to truly assess what they had in Johnson, but whatever it is, the team obviously liked him enough to carry him throughout the year.

Contract Status

(via Spotrac)

Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent in 2017. He carried an $885,000 cap hit in 2016.

2017 Outlook

Johnson will be 31. He’ll probably get a short-term deal from the Giants which won’t exactly break the bank, as it might just behoove him to return to the team where he’s already invested a year of his career learning the offense.

The Giants seem to prefer a backup quarterback who knows the system, and if Johnson can get a full offseason in with the team, that should put him in good shape come training camp when he’s likely to compete with a rookie (drafted or undrafted) for a place on the 53-man roster.

WILL JOHNSON, FB/TE

2016 Season in Review

If you blinked, you probably missed the addition of Will Johnson, a tight end/fullback hybrid who joined the Giants last offseason after playing four years with Pittsburgh.

Johnson’s season was unfortunately cut short by a burner which, while fully healed by the end of the season, at the time had both Johnson and doctors unsure as to an exact recovery timeline.

This uncertainty is why the team didn’t wait until after the season started to place Johnson on injured IR (doing so would have given the Giants the option of designating him for return whereas putting him on injured reserve before the start of the regular season meant he was done for the year).

Contract Status

(via Spotrac)

Johnson signed a two-year contract last offseason worth $2.3 million. In 2017, he’s due to count for $1.275 million, a figure that includes a $950K base salary and a $100K roster bonus.

2017 Outlook

The Giants sorely missed having a lead blocker in their offense this year, a role that Johnson was initially expected to fill when he signed as a free agent. He’ll get a chance this coming season to step into that role.

Beyond providing lead blocking, Johnson can also contribute as a receiver, which should enable him to line up in numerous positions beyond the fullback spot.  In four seasons, Johnson has caught 31 of 50 pass targets for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

BRETT JONES, OL

2016 Season in Review

After two injury-filled seasons with the Giants, Jones remains very much a mystery regarding his actual play on the field.

His rookie season was lost to a knee injury. He returned in 2016 after having added bulk, and started to show signs of progress as both a guard and center, the added bulk helping the former CFL star to hold his ground.

Before getting a chance to step in as a starter for the injured Justin Pugh, a chance that was cut short when Jones suffered a calf injury that kept him out for two games, the young Canadian had been used as both a jumbo tight end and as a fullback in select situations, each time holding up well.

While Jones’ ability to play the game has yet to reveal itself, there’s still much to like about this youngster, starting with his football IQ and extending through to his toughness.

Contract Status

(via Spotrac)

Jones is entering the final year of his three-year, $1.575 million deal. He’s due to count for $615K against the 2017 salary cap and does not carry any dead money.

2017 Outlook

Jones is probably best suited at this point as a backup interior lineman. He will likely be back in 2017 to compete for a roster spot.