Jets Cut Rookie Who Had Large Guaranteed Money on Contract

DQ Thomas, Jets

Getty Former New York Jets linebacker DQ Thomas posing for the cameras ahead of a preseason game.

The New York Jets continued a flurry of roster moves ahead of their Week 1 tilt versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Gang Green added three new players to their practice squad:

  • Zonovan “Bam” Knight, running back
  • Diontae Spencer, wide receiver and return specialist
  • Eric Smith, offensive lineman

In a corresponding move, the Jets officially released wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr and linebacker DQ Thomas from the practice squad.

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A Surprising Move


VideoVideo related to jets cut rookie who had large guaranteed money on contract2022-09-06T18:30:50-04:00

A lot of this recent fluctuation revolved around the Jets’ expanded 16-man practice squad.

Although the most surprising of these maneuvers was the Jets cutting bait on their talented 23-year-old out of Middle Tennessee State.

Shortly following the 2022 NFL draft, the Jets worked quickly to recruit the promising linebacker to New York.

It cost them a pretty penny to get it done too. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the green and white dished out over $130,000 in guaranteed dollars to make it happen.

That was the most money that Gang Green handed out to any undrafted free agent this cycle which seemingly indicated how high they were on Thomas as a prospect.

Apparently, their minds changed on how they felt about him as Thomas is looking for a new NFL home after spending over four months with the Jets this summer.


Analyzing the Other Roster Decisions


VideoVideo related to jets cut rookie who had large guaranteed money on contract2022-09-06T18:30:50-04:00

After a bunch of hoopla on Monday after the Jets surprisingly released Knight from the roster, they were able to lure him back on Tuesday.

The talented former undrafted free agent out of NC State was able to clear through waivers and then had the option to return to New York albeit on the practice squad.

In addition to a familiar face on the roster, Knight was joined by two other faces on the squad.

Gang Green added some more beef in the form of offensive lineman Eric Smith. If the name sounds familiar it should he was here before.

No, not that Eric Smith. The one we are referencing is a journeyman offensive lineman who has bounced around the league since entering it as an undrafted free agent.

The former Virginia product has played on six different NFL teams including a stint with Gang Green back in 2018.

He doesn’t necessarily have a sterling resume and neither do any of the backup offensive tackles on the 53-man roster. In other words, just hope one of the starters doesn’t get injured.

The other move that ruffled a few feathers on Jets’ social media is the swapping of the guard at wide receiver.

They let go of a promising UDFA prospect in Calvin Jackson Jr and instead brought in a savvy veteran.

Diontae Spencer is 30 years of age and brings a somewhat small frame at just 5-foot-8, weighing 170 pounds. Although what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in playmaking ability.

Spencer is more well known for his ability as a return man and he has made some dynamic plays in the NFL.

In 42 career games, Spencer has averaged 9.8 yards per punt return and has a return touchdown on his resume.

He has also faired well as a kick returner, but nothing has compared to his 2019 rookie season in the NFL when he averaged an insane 29.1 yards per kick return.


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