The last player signed by the New York Jets prior to the start of training camp is the first one to receive a contract extension. Tight end Ryan Griffin even went so far as to repay the Jets for his new deal, hauling in a touchdown in a 34-3 win on Sunday over the Oakland Raiders.
On Saturday night, Griffin signed a three-year contract extension with the Jets worth $10.8 million with $4 million of that guaranteed. And while Griffin didn’t put up the big numbers he did last week (five catches, 109 yards and a touchdown in a win at Washington), he did have a big role in the Jets blowout win in Week 12.
Griffin had a four-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, a play where he seemed stunned at how wide open he was on the goal line. He even had to nudge offensive linemen Kelvin Beachum and Jonotthan Harrison out of the way so he could get into the endzone.
That catch was one of three receptions for 13 yards on the day for Griffin.
“I knew it was six,” Griffin told reporters in the locker room following the Jets win.
“We ran it in practice and it didn’t work out, but I was hoping [head] coach [Adam] Gase would still pull the trigger on it because it’s a winner. What a play call. The design was great. It was tough for me to get in the end zone between Beach and Jonotthan, so it was fun.”
As for the contract, it is a nice reward for a player who was a bit of an unknown but quickly has become a dependable part of the offense. A solid contributor during his previous six years at the Houston Texans, Griffin was seen as a role player at best when he signed with the Jets.
He was especially an afterthought signing given what was considered a deep tight end room at the time. But injuries decimated the group during preseason and the early weeks of the year, allowing Griffin’s role to grow.
Suddenly, general manager Joe Douglas’ last-minute signing worked well.
It happened really quick. Joe [Douglas] extended a great offer that I couldn’t pass up and it’s a testament to the front office making me feel welcome here. I signed late here, on the eve of camp, and I knew we had something real good here, so I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to a couple (of) years here.