After another lost New York Jets season, it’s time to evaluate this 53-man roster. This daily ranking continues with No. 11, tight end Ryan Griffin.
For a $0 guaranteed July 22 investment, new general manager Joe Douglas found this franchise a starting-grade, sure-handed blocking machine — hungry to redeem himself after getting cut following a bone-headed April 27 arrest for public intoxication and vandalism at last years’ draft in Nashville.
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The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Londonderry, NH product and UConn star (that school’s 2012 Offensive Player of the Year) got off to a slow start to his 2019 Gang Green campaign before developing into one of this team’s few bright spots.
Griffin was a lead-by-example locker room leader and a reliable red-zone target for Sam Darnold. The seventh-year veteran started all of his 11 games in green-and-white and even garnered a couple of weeks of Pro Bowl chatter.
The general manager bestowed on the 29-year-old a midseason contract extension (three-years, $10.8 million). Griffin expressed his gratitude by amassing 34 catches and five touchdowns for a 61.8 Pro Football Focus rating — before three weeks later enduring season-ending ankle surgery.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains knows full-well what the New York Jets have uncovered in Griffin.
“He’s a pro. That’s what Ryan is. He’s a smart football player. There are things that happen in the game that we don’t talk about and you guys don’t see, but he’s a guy that does a lot on the line of scrimmage. He’s just a smart savvy player and helps the young guy. He really sees the big picture.”
Griffin’s multi-year extension means that he’ll stick around Florham Park for the foreseeable future. In terms of this team’s tight end corp moving forward, Griffin will now command starting expectations.
Especially after Herndon’s hellacious season, Daniel Brown‘s nondescript play, the gradual development of Trevon Wesco, and the Week 17 signing of Ross Travis, a former Kansas City Chiefs/Indianapolis Colts project bursting with unrealized gridiron potential.
Joe Douglas signed Griffin because he’s this general manager’s type of hard-nosed baller with high on-field IQ. Don’t expect that particular personnel assessment to change anytime soon.