10 Jets Players That Could Be Released Before OTAs

La'Mical Perine

Getty New York Jets 2020 fourth-round pick La'Mical Perine might be the biggest name on the list of potential pre-camp cuts.

After the NFL draft prospects and the UDFA class officially join the New York Jets’ 90-man roster, general manager Joe Douglas will have to make some pre-camp cuts.

Based on our official Heavy on Jets UDFA tracker, 99 players are currently declared to the Jets roster if everyone signs — not including rookie camp invites. That means nine would have to go, and these moves could take place as soon as today or tomorrow.

Douglas and the Jets are doing fine in terms of cap space with $15.788 million available and a projected effective cap of $2.108 million and change, so don’t expect any major releases this week. Here are 10 roster moves that could occur in the coming days.

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Reserve/Future Deals

A lot of times, these early cuts end up being players that were signed to reserve/future contracts back in January. A prime example of this is the Kansas City Chiefs, who just released six players on reserve/future deals last night.

Matt Ammendola was already one reserve/future casualty for Gang Green, after the franchise signed veteran Greg Zuerlein to compete at kicker. Below are the 13 remaining reserve/future contracts on the roster:

  • Ross Pierschbacher, center.
  • Isaiah Williams, guard.
  • Dru Samia, guard.
  • Grant Hermanns, tackle.
  • Tarik Black, wide receiver.
  • D.J. Montgomery, wide receiver.
  • Rodney Adams, wide receiver.
  • Lawrence Cager, tight end.
  • Brandon Dillon, tight end.
  • Tanzel Smart, defensive tackle.
  • Hamilcar Rashed Jr., defensive end.
  • Bradlee Anae, defensive end.
  • Jovante Moffatt, safety.

A good portion of the names above should stick with the roster for now but a few stand out as odd men out. We’ll start with the tight ends.

The Jets bolstered this room over the offseason with three legitimate starters in C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert. There are now seven tight ends on the roster if you include fullback hybrid Trevon Wesco — that’s tremendously unnecessary.

That means Lawrence Cager and Brandon Dillon will be the first two players that end up on our NYJ spring cuts watch list. The former has been released by the franchise in the past (at WR), before making a return as a tight end. After the additions, the same result is likely. Dillon has done very little over his NFL career to warrant a spot in camp.

For a similar reason, Isaiah Williams could be cut once again. The veteran was on-and-off the roster as an injury/COVID fill-in for the franchise in 2021, but the Jets have since signed Laken Tomlinson and Nate Herbig. At 29 years old, the journeyman guard/tackle’s brief run in New York could be over.

One last reserve/future cut could occur at the wide receiver position. Rodney Adams is the name that feels the most likely, being that Tarik Black and D.J. Montgomery carved out practice squad roles with the franchise last season. Of course, the big-play threat from Chicago could easily stick over a lower ceiling prospect like Montgomery.

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Other Potential Cuts/Designations

There are actually a few somewhat larger names that I could see Douglas moving on from early.

One potential candidate is running back La’Mical Perine. The 2020 fourth-round pick has been consistently outperformed by undrafted free agents and waiver claims, and I’m not sure where he fits in Mike LaFleur’s new offense.

Perine has always been praised as a high character teammate and for that reason, he may get one last training camp to prove himself — but the Jets could also rip the Band-Aid off this week, giving the Florida product a chance to latch on elsewhere.

Rachad Wildgoose is another man that has been on the active roster in recent memory. Douglas poached the cornerback from Buffalo last year, but he barely played. With two new UDFAs potentially joining a crowded CB room in Allan George and D.J. Ford, Wildgoose could be our sixth cut.

A similar player that fits the mold of a mid-to-late-season pickup that barely factored in is Javin White, who the Jets claimed from the Las Vegas Raiders. The linebacker-safety hybrid now sits behind Marcell Harris, Hamsah Nasirildeen, Jamien Sherwood, DQ Thomas and Del’Shawn Phillips on the depth chart — not to mention starters C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams.

Then there are the injury designations that could free up a spot or two. One of the players I just mentioned could theoretically join a reserve list for the start of camp, Sherwood. The 2021 rookie linebacker tore his Achilles last season and the road back could take some time.

Safety Zane Lewis is another. The defensive back missed the entire 2021 season with a torn patellar tendon and sprained MCL in his knee.

Carl Lawson and Mekhi Becton are both huge names to watch in this regard, although both appear to be progressing toward a healthy designation at the start of OTAs.

Player No. 10 will be a little bit of a rookie catch-all. We mentioned it in the open, but not all UDFAs always sign after rookie camp. Some deals fall through due to various reasons like a failed physical or a disagreement in terms.

The Jets only need to make nine transactions at the moment, and that last spot will be reserved for any UDFAs that may come or go.

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