With the roster now meeting the league’s requirement of 53-men, the New York Jets were forced to make some difficult decisions, parting ways with some unexpected players. Rookies were released, some veterans were kept in favor of others, and now it’s time to figure out which players might be brought back in a practice squad capacity.
The Jets’ decision to carry four quarterbacks and seven wide receivers violates conventional thinking practices when it comes to developing a roster. Fortunately, the organization could not justify any means to release special teams ace, Wallace Wright.
Among those released by the team was veteran cornerback Hank Poteat. His time in New York has been a roller coaster, constantly finding himself on the cutting block, only to return to the team later. When he arrived in New York in 2006, it came with a whirlwind, as Poteat ended up travelling between New York and New England a few times over the course of two months.
When it appeared he had finally established a role on the team, Poteat was allowed to test the free agent market at the start of the 2008 offseason. Poteat was eventually re-signed by the Jets, only to find himself in a situation that’s all too familiar at this point.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances that seem to have plagued Poteat’s career, the most surprising aspect to his release is that happened in favor of the team retaining veterans David Barret and Ahmad Carroll. Many fans truly believed that Poteat would be safe, and the decision would come down to releasing one of the latter players.
As it stands, Carroll and Barrett have both secured spots on the Jets’ 53-man roster and should be making plans to travel with the team to Miami for the September 7th opener.
Linebacker Matt Chatham followed Eric Mangini to New York in 2006, and was also among those released in favor of younger players in a crowded position. Chatham was efficient in special teams duty and served as a fair backup in linebacker rotations. However, when the cuts were announced, it became apparent that the solid performances of undrafted free agent, Kenwin Cummings, forced Chatham out of a job with the team.
There weren’t many surprises with the other players the Jets’ passed on. The only releases that caused a brow to furrow for a split second involved offensive linemen Jacob Bender and Nate Garner. Both players were final round selections in the Jets’ previous drafts, and were classified as projects (read: reaches) coming into training camp. Development of these players was expected to be a process, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Jets place them on the practice squad.
Accompanying Bender, Chatham, Garner and Poteat are wide receivers David Ball, Larry Brackins, and Paul Raymond. Tight Ends Jason Pociask and A.J. Schable were also trimmed from the roster.
Runningback Jehuu Caulcrick, and offensive linemen Stanley Daniels, Kyle DeVan, and Matt McChesney were waived as well.
Defensive backs Rudy Burgess, James Ihedigbo, Cameron Worrell, defensive lineman Thomas Johnson, Bryan Mattison, and Ropati Pitoitua and linebackers Blair Phillips and Brandon Renkart were also victims of final cuts.
While the New York Jets have chopped their roster to 53-men, players released around the league may hint to some more maneuvering. The Cincinnati Bengals decision to part ways with veteran CB Deltha O’Neal could spark some personnel questions in Florham Park leading up to opening day.
The Detroit Lions also parted ways with offensive tackle, Jonathan Scott. At 6-foot-6, 318 pounds, Scott could prove to be a better developmental prospect for depth than Bender or Garner.
After a strong performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL has issued a four-game suspension to RB Jesse Chatman. Apparently the presence of a diuretic commonly used to mask steroid usage was detected in Chatman’s system. His appeal was denied.
Despite making the final roster, the Jets will need to wait until October 12th to incorporate him into any game plans. Expect the Jets to scour the waiver wire in search of a serviceable RB to hold a roster spot as an insurance policy while Chatman serves his suspension.