‘Athletic’ $24 Million Veteran ‘Flashed’ During Jets Practice

Aaron Rodgers, Jets

Getty New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers posing for a photo during a media appearance.

A New York Jets veteran has been making his presence felt at practice.

Team reporter Ethan Greenberg highlighted tight end CJ Uzomah as someone that “flashed” throughout OTAs.

“I want to talk about a veteran. I think CJ Uzomah kind of flashed this spring,” Greenberg explained in a video posted on Monday, June 12. “Tyler Conklin was out for a majority of the spring, at least the OTA portion, and I think the tight-end production which was good last year might reach a new level with Aaron Rodgers this upcoming season.”

CJ Uzomah Is Due for a Big Bounceback With the Jets in 2023

Draft analyst Lance Zierlein described the 30-year-old as a “big, athletic body” coming out of Auburn.

Uzomah spent the first seven years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. Although during the 2022 offseason the 6-foot-5, 271-pound tight end switched allegiances and signed with Gang Green.

He appeared in 15 games and made 13 starts during his first season with the Jets. Uzomah only caught 21 receptions for 232 yards and finished with two touchdowns.

A key contributing factor in the minuscule results is likely the revolving door at the quarterback position. Gang Green utilized four different passers throughout the 2022 season.

However, in 2023 there will be a dramatic facelift to the game’s most important position in New York.

That should increase the quality of the pass attempts and should lay a foundation of consistency for the offense.

False Alarm on Jets Injury During Practice

Uzomah appeared to hurt his leg during the final OTA practice on Friday, June 9.

Rodgers threw a pass toward Uzomah during a drill. The veteran tight end appeared to be favoring his left leg and needed some medical assistance.

Head coach Robert Saleh typically speaks prior to practice so we didn’t get a formal update from the team after the injury occurred. However, Connor Hughes of SNY provided an update on Saturday, June 10:

“Jets TE CJ Uzomah, who left practice with trainers yesterday after injuring his leg, didn’t return for precautionary reasons. No worries for the start of training camp, per sources.”

Uzomah signed a three-year deal for $24 million in 2022. He was one of a slew of players that restructured their contracts this offseason.

That locked in his roster spot for 2023 at a minimum. If the Jets decided to move on this offseason they’d eat a $12.6 million dead cap hit.

Even moving on next offseason would prove costly for the green and white.

A dead cap hit of $5.9 million would be charged to New York’s front office in 2024 if the team decided to make a move.

With Uzomah here for the foreseeable future, it would behoove the team to adjust his role moving forward. In his first season with the Jets, he served as a blocker and a locker room leader.

However, there appears to be a lot more untapped potential beneath the surface as a receiving threat.

With so many other big-name weapons on the offensive side of the ball, Uzomah won’t be the top focus of opposing defenses. That should provide the big man with plenty of favorable matchups this season that he can take full advantage of.

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