The New York Jets ahead of their final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles engaged in an array of roster adjustments on Monday, August 23.
It’s not unusual to have a high level of fluctuation as we get to the last moments of August, but some of the moves were interesting to say the least.
The Jets, along with the other 31 NFL teams, have to trim their roster down to 80 players by Tuesday, August 24 at 4 p.m. ET.
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Superstar Goes Through Roster Formality
Carl Lawson ruptured his Achilles last week during joint practices versus the Green Bay Packers. It became abundantly clear that the ex-Cincinnati Bengals star was out for the season and that unfortunate news was later confirmed.
On Monday evening, the Jets went through the formality of placing their star pass rusher on injured reserve officially ending his 2021 campaign.
That move wasn’t a surprise and was widely expected, but a move that was made at the same time certainly raised several eyebrows on social media.
Gang Green waived cornerback and kick return specialist Corey Ballentine.
During the first two years of his career, he has spent time with both New York teams and has made things happen. In that same span, he played in 28 games and started in four of them.
While he certainly had some moments in the defensive backfield, it was his prowess on special teams that had so many people excited on the Jets.
Fans got a glimpse of that potential during the second preseason game against the Packers. In the first half, Ballentine returned a kickoff 73 yards which set up Zach Wilson for his second touchdown of the game to Tyler Kroft.
He was also injured during the game which may have played a big factor in him no longer being a part of this team.
With him now off the roster, those return duties will likely go to rookie running back Michael Carter.
Jets Go Outside the Box to Add Some Unique Talent
Gang Green added two very interesting players on Monday in corresponding roster moves.
The Jets added veteran defensive end Aaron Adeoye to help fill the void left by Lawson.
Over the last two seasons, he spent time mostly on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Adeoye ended up suiting up for only one NFL game during the 2020 season but didn’t record any stats.
While he didn’t do anything of note in the big leagues, he has made some noise elsewhere:
- Spring League (2018).
- Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football (2019).
Adeoye’s size is fantastic (6-foot-6, 250 pounds), and he has a highly athletic background from his time playing basketball. The 27-year old played three years of college hoops for three different teams: Ball State, Western Kentucky and Southeast Missouri State
Joining an NFL team this late in the process, and considering the depth of the Jets’ defensive line, it’s going to be an uphill climb to make New York’s final roster, but he’ll have a chance.
The Jets also added another interesting body on the other side of the trenches in Isaiah Williams.
The 6-foot-3, 296-pound offensive lineman has been around the block once or twice. Over the last five years, Williams has played for seven different NFL franchises:
- Washington (2016 to 2017, separate stint in 2018)
- Kansas City (2017)
- Indianapolis (2017)
- Oakland (2018)
- New Orleans (2018)
- Baltimore (2019)
- San Francisco (2020 to 2021)
On top of his various NFL stops, the veteran offensive tackle spent time in the AAF with the Atlanta Legends in 2019 and with the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers.
Using the phrase “well-traveled” would be a massive understatement. Perhaps the big man from Cleveland, Ohio can finally find a permanent home with the Jets in 2021? He has a chance due to the lack of depth on the offensive line for the green and white.