As mandated by the National Football League, the New York Jets have officially sliced their roster from 85 to 80 players.
In an announcement on social media, the green and white revealed the full results of their cuts:
- Eddy Pineiro (placekicker)
- Elijah Riley (defensive back)
- Isaiah Williams (offensive lineman)
- Caleb Benenoch (offensive lineman)
- Kai Nacua (converted safety to linebacker prospect)
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Some Interesting Names
One of the best stories of 2021 was the Jets stealing safety Elijah Riley off of the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.
He was a player that had direct ties to general manager Joe Douglas. The Jets had been trying to acquire him for a while but had to wait for the right opportunity and found it last season.
The 24-year-old originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Army. He quickly joined the Eagles following the draft and was able to carve out a role.
In a season and a half with Philadelphia, he played in six games before the Jets took him off of their practice squad.
Then with the Jets, he quickly soared up the depth chart last season. All in all, he played and started in seven contests in 2021:
- One sack
- 22 assisted tackles
- Three tackles for loss
Riley was competing for either a starting gig at safety or one of those precious backup spots in 2022. Now he will have an opportunity to seek a new NFL home with a single week still left in the preseason.
Looking Through the Rest of the Carnage
It was reported earlier on Tuesday that the Jets were cutting bait on Pineiro and that was confirmed by the team later in the day.
That means veteran Greg Zuerlein has officially won the kicking job heading into 2022.
Jumping to the trenches, the Jets cut some of their extra beef on the line by moving on from both Benenoch and Williams.
Both were veteran offensive linemen that were likely suited as camp bodies to make it through the grind of the preseason. Don’t be surprised if the Jets work their way through waivers to acquire some more hog mollies over the next few weeks.
One of the other truly sad cuts was former safety and converted linebacker Nacua who was a casualty in these recent roster movements.
A few weeks ago, head coach Robert Saleh confirmed that he changed positions and was raising some eyebrows in training camp.
Unfortunately, the conversion and depth above him made Nacua an expendable piece as we got to this point of the offseason.
He is a super talented guy that can lay the lumber, contribute on special teams, and is a leader among men. Nacua should find no problem as he seeks his next NFL opportunity.
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