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NFL Notes: Jaguars, Jets, Packers, Saints

Jaguars

A league source explained to Ryan O’Halloran that TE Julius Thomas was a tough player for the team’s offensive coaching staff to game-plan for.

“He’s a very specific player that, really, is hard for an [offensive staff] to game-plan for,” O’Halloran’s source said. “In a true two-tight end system, he could put up better numbers because he would be on the field more and be treated as the third receiver. But to make a living doing that is tough because of the team-speed issue. Defenses are able to stay in base and stop the run and also with the speed of some linebackers, they were able to cover him man to man and were actually faster and more physical than Julius.”

Another issue for Thomas and the Jaguars was that he wasn’t a great blocking tight end.

“His blocking was non-existent,” the source said. “If he was on the field, he was the second tight end and that meant a receiver came off the field and the team speed went down. And if he was on the field with Robinson, Hurns and Lee, it was a clear giveaway to defenses that it was a pass or a run away from him because he couldn’t be at the point of attack.”

Jets

  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News takes a look at some draft prospects worth keeping an eye in regards to the Jets at the upcoming Scouting Combine.
  • Mehta’s list includes LSU RB Leonards Fournette, FSU RB Dalvin Cook, QBs Mitch Trubisky, DeShaun Watson and DeShone Kizer, OSU CB Marshon Lattimore, and Alabama LB Reuben Foster.

Packers

Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes the Packers clearly believe in G Lucas Patrick as a potential at guard in 2017, given that he managed to stick with the team, despite suffering the kind of injury that typically leads to an undrafted rookie being released with a settlement.

“Clearly I was good enough to stay in some capacity,” Patrick said. “The one thing I like about Green Bay is the prestige along the O-line and kind of the track record they have of guys who just come in and work. They do respect guys who can come in and see a little bit of opportunity and keep getting better and better.”

The Packers will have a difficult decision to make in regards to veteran G T.J. Lang, who will test the open market as an unrestricted free agent in the coming weeks.

Last year, the Packers surprising cut long-term G Josh Sitton and went with Lane Taylor as his replacement, so there’s at least a chance that the Packers could go this route again in 2017 with Patrick taking over for Lang.

One other speculative option for Green Bay could be to re-sign C J.C. Tretter and have him play guard.

Saints

  • Nick Underhill of the Advocate writes that Saints free agent DT Nick Fairley should have a good idea of what his market will be at the start of free agency next week at the Scouting Combine.
  • According to Underhill, the expectation is that Fairley will have his sights set on securing $9 million per year in his next contract.
  • The Saints do have cap room to work with this year, but Underhill mentions that this could be difficult, but possible, for the Saints to commit to and still address their other roster needs.