Jets Promising Draft Pick Forced to Retire Due to Injury: Report

Cameron Clark Jets

Getty New York Jets offensive lineman Cameron Clark getting himself ready for an NFL contest.

Former New York Jets fourth-round pick, Cam Clark, is being forced to retire due to complications from a spinal cord injury he suffered last offseason.

Rich Cimini of ESPN broke the story on Wednesday morning.

“Based on the advice of Dr. Andrew Hecht, a prominent orthopedic surgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, Cameron will not be able to continue to play football for the New York Jets,” Clark’s agent, Alan Herman, told ESPN.

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A Career Cut Short

The 24-year-old originally entered the league as the No. 129 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft out of Charlotte.

His first year with the Jets was considered a bit of a redshirt campaign as he acclimated himself to the NFL game. Then this past season was supposed to be where he made his mark at the professional level, but it never came to fruition.

In the early part of August during training camp, in what appeared to be a routine play Clark laid motionless on the ground for several minutes as members of the Jets medical staff attended to him.

He was then taken to a local hospital for further testing, but it appeared shortly thereafter that he would be able to return to the football field.

That has since changed and as Cimini noted in his column if Clark continued to play he “would risk paralysis.”

He never ended up playing a regular-season snap for the Jets during his two years with the team.

Shortly after the news broke, Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh released a statement:

2020 Draft Class Is Falling Apart at the Seams

With this latest news, general manager Joe Douglas’ first draft class in 2020 is continuing to crumble before our eyes.

After the first practice, Saleh refused to back offensive tackle Mekhi Becton as a starter heading into 2022, despite his draft status.

Second-round wide receiver Denzel Mims has been floated in trade circles and his future looks murky at best.

Both of the Jets’ third-rounders have been disappointing. Ashtyn Davis hasn’t been able to develop at safety and Jabari Zuniga was cut and has been floating on the practice squad.

Clark just retired, backup quarterback James Morgan was cut, and La’Mical Perine has been buried on the bench.

Bryce Hall in the fifth round has been a revelation as a starting cornerback, but him being the best of the bunch is hardly ideal.

Finally, Braden Mann in the sixth round has been a starting punter, but there isn’t much more to say about that.

All in all the 2020 draft class is essentially non-existent. As great as the 2021 draft class appears to be on paper, it is hard to fully appreciate it thanks to the implosion of the previous year’s draft class.

The Jets haven’t been to the playoffs in 11 straight years and the main reason for that is the swings and misses in the draft, just like that 2020 class.

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