The New York Jets had some tough decisions to make this afternoon on August 16, as the official NFL roster size dropped from 90 to 85.
The NYJ organization announced its decision on Twitter 10 minutes after the 4 p.m. deadline. Officially, there were four cuts and one injury designation.
Defensive end Tim Ward and wide receiver/special teamer Rashard Davis headlined the cuts — which included cornerback Luq Barcoo and offensive lineman Derrick Kelly — but the biggest news surrounded Mekhi Becton, who was finally placed on the injured reserve.
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Becton’s 2022 Season Is Over
Although it was expected by many, the harsh reality is finally set in stone: Becton will miss the entirety of the 2022 campaign. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero confirmed the news.
Team reporter Ethan Greenberg noted that this was a “surprise.” Some believed the Jets might wait another week or two to decide on Becton but it appears they determined that there was enough information to come to this unfortunate conclusion.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport relayed that the Jets made this decision “prior to [Becton] having knee surgery,” meaning they do not expect the former first-round pick to return to action ahead of schedule.
It will be interesting to see if the front office decides to pick up Becton’s fifth-year option next offseason. ESPN’s Rich Cimini recently wrote that “there is virtually no chance” that they do and it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
At the start of Organized Team Activities in 2023, Becton will have missed 35 out of a possible 50 games since being selected in round one. He is guaranteed $3.125 million next season but beyond that, his future is very unclear.
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Hot Start Fizzles for USFL Standout
In terms of the cuts, Ward and Davis were two players that showed promise in glimpses. The former did so in the past while the latter had a hot start at training camp.
We’ll start with the pass rusher. General manager Joe Douglas claimed Ward off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021 and he seemed like a potential diamond in the rough steal.
Unfortunately, Ward never panned out with zero sacks and one quarterback pressure in 191 defensive snaps as a Jet.
Davis entered the Florham Park scene on a torrid stretch, torching NYJ cornerbacks during his first few practices. The burner’s preseason debut came highly anticipated by fans but it all went wrong quickly after the USFL standout bobbled two punts and muffed a third.
As a return specialist, that was not a good look for Davis. Apparently, the ugly performance was enough for Douglas and this coaching staff to move on.
The theme of this cutdown day is ex-Chiefs. Barcoo joins Ward and Davis as a third player that spent time in KC.
The ball hawk made a few plays in practice but struggled during the game. Both my partner Paul Esden Jr. and myself predicted that Barcoo would be one of the first five cuts within our most recent mailbag column, so this one wasn’t much of a shocker.
As for Kelly, the younger blocker is more of a slight head-scratcher. He provided versatility and consistency in both the run game and the passing attack against the Eagles but was always a long shot to make the roster.
Having said that, Douglas rarely gives up on an O-line talent that shows potential. Kelly did that during his brief stint as a Jet but it wasn’t enough to save his job.