Tag Archives: New York Jets

Grimes, Jonathan

Card: TNT Texans Custom
Acquired: 2016, Houston Texans Academy Liberty White Stampede Tour

One of my old collecting friends from ‘back in the day’ of the Fanmail website was a broadcaster for the Old Dominion Monarchs team. Grimes was head and shoulders above the competition coming out of William & Mary and dominated the competition.  My friend told me that Jonathan Grimes was THE man, and was a solid free agent signee by the Texans.

Grimes made the roster in 2012, and toiled away on the team’s practice squad.  Other teams coveted him, and he did not stay on the PS for long with the Jets signing him and putting him to limited work as a 3rd down back. The Jets cut him in October of that season.

As the Texans descended into chaos, during Gary Kubiak‘s final season with injuries hitting the Texans’ RB corps of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, Grimes found himself back with the team and was elevated to play on special teams.  He’d eventually finish his whirlwind tour on the roster of the Jaguars by the end of the season.

Cut in August of 2013 by Jacksonville, Grimes returned to the Texans for the 3rd time after Ben Tate was placed on IR.  He scored his first professional TD against the Titans.  He’d finish the season with 73 yards on 23 carries and 6 receptions for 76 yards. Since that time, HC Bill O’Brien has found a way to keep Grimes on the roster.

In 2014, Jonathan ran for 153 yards on 39 carries as he began to settle in as a 3rd down/ change of pace runningback for the franchise.  As injuries finally caught up to Arian Foster in 2015, Grimes saw his workload increase. He put in a career high 282 yards on 56 carries, and 26 receptions for 173 yards, scoring a TD rushing and receiving in the same game.

Despite not playing as much in 2016 due to the signing of new bell cow back Lamar Miller, Grimes proved to be an invaluable change of pace back, pulling out some key first downs in some critical games. He rushed 23 times for 105 yards and caught 13 balls for 94 yards.

I created this card of Jonathan, knowing that he and DB Quentin Demps were going to be at a local Academy signing autographs. Jonathan really liked the card and was touched by my kind efforts. Afterwards I talked to one of the PR honchos for the Texans that also liked my work and gave me his business card, but I was really intimidated to contact him back- something that is still on my list.

Hill, Austin

leaf15 ahill sage15 ahill

Cards: Leaf Draft Metal 2015, Sage 2015
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker

His Sophomore season was a breakout year at Arizona, as Austin Hill had 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns. Unfortunately he tore his ACL, going down in the second-to-last practice of the spring. After he returned in 2014, his numbers fell to 48 receptions for 630 yards and 4 TDs.  Concern lingered into the draft about his knee, and Austin went undrafted.

Austin has kept the dream alive, and his agent must be commended for how he’s kept Hill in the face of executives and scouts. He has been on the rosters of no less than 5 teams including the Raiders, Jets, Patriots, and the CFL Ottawa Redblacks. He became a fan favorite on NFL’s Hard Knocks with the Los Angeles Rams at his last and most recent stop, with his pure love for the game and his daughter.  He was among the final cuts made by the team, but may make an impression on an NFL team’s practice squad somewhere.

 

Lageman, Jeff

to90 jlageman pset89 jlageman

Cards: Topps 1990, ProSet 1989, Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 6/20    Received:  7/1   (11 days)

Jeff Lageman was a force for Virginia playing both defensive end and linebacker for the Cavaliers.  He was selected by the New York Jets during the loaded 1989 draft in the first round as a defensive end, but at 6’6″, 266 Jeff was considered undersized at the pro level for the position.  Considered one of the early tweeners, Lageman played both defensive end and linebacker for New York.  He played for the Jets through the 1995 season posting a respectable 330 tackles and 34.5 sacks.

He’d sign as a free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars for their inaugural year. The Jags played him exclusively at defensive end, where Lageman played the final 4 years of his career, retiring after the 1998 season due to injury.

A popular figure around Jacksonville, Jeff was able to leverage his football persona and combine that for his love for the outdoors on the radio. He’s done color commentary for football games and weekly features for the Jaguars.

Jeff signed these 4 cards for me in no time flat. He’s got some spectacular early cards. Even his Topps 1990 card was one of those rare action shots.

G/GS  122/118         TAC  411         SAC  47.0          FUM11
INT 1     YDS 15       AVG  15.0         TD  0          LG  15