On Tuesday, the New York Jets performed a necessary evil as they trimmed their roster from 90 NFL players to 85.
To recap, the green and white cut four players:
- Austin Walter, running back
- Bennett Jackson, defensive back
- Chris Naggar, kicker
- Michael Dwumfour, defensive lineman
In addition to those roster adjustments, Gang Green also placed offensive lineman Cameron Clark on injured reserve due to a neck injury he suffered during training camp.
Thanks to the new rules from the COVID pandemic, the Jets and every other NFL team are allowed to bring back an infinite amount of players off of IR this season.
Previously NFL teams were only allowed two designations for IR during a season. Now a player can return from injured reserve after missing a minimum of only three games. After that time span, that player is eligible to return to practice, and then a team will have 21 days to then place him on the active roster.
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Time for a Family Reunion on 1 Jets Drive
The Jets weren’t the only NFL team that was forced to cut their roster from 90 to 85 players on Tuesday, every team had to do so.
This means there was a sudden influx of over 160 players that went from employed to unemployed. Every team’s needs are different and one man’s trash can be another team’s treasure.
General manager Joe Douglas has been combing this large list of players and several names should stand out.
Two of them, in particular, would be family reunions of sorts for the green and white.
Brett Maher, kicker
The 31-year old placekicker was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday after failing to impress.
Maher has been in the NFL since 2013 and has appeared in two separate stints with the Jets. He started with Gang Green in 2013 and also was on the roster in 2020 fighting for the starting gig.
While he never made it on the final 53 in either instance, Maher has a proven boot. The veteran has one of the strongest legs in the business, accuracy is ultimately what has given him problems. He boasts a 74.2 career conversion rate.
After the latest round of cuts, the Jets only have one kicker on the roster in Matt Ammendola. The rookie out of Oklahoma State also possesses a rocket launcher leg, but lacks experience.
Kyron Brown, cornerback
The Jets have 10 cornerbacks on their 85 man roster, but that is more so a case of quantity over quality. This is a positional group that’ll be closely monitored and often compared to what’s available at every stage through the remainder of the offseason.
They have another chance to rekindle an old flame with Kyron Brown shaking free from the Dallas Cowboys.
The third-year cornerback hasn’t gotten a ton of opportunities at the professional level, but has been a part of the Jets organization the first two years of his career.
This offseason he escaped from the nest and signed a nice two-year deal with America’s Team, but his stay was short-lived.
Both of these players are worth kicks of the tires and would immediately be thrown into the mix with two preseason games remaining on the docket.
Other Players the Jets Could Kick the Tires On
Douglas wasn’t the only one that combed through the roster cuts around the league, here are several players that stood out to me for one reason or another that would make sense.
LeVante Bellamy, running back
During my day job covering Syracuse football, I’ve had the opportunity to watch LeVante Bellamy in person. He brings insane speed to the table and has a ton of potential as a return specialist.
Bellamy was injured during the preseason game between the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings. He is set to miss a few weeks due to injury, which could make his battle for a roster spot difficult, but trust the talent here.
Kerryon Johnson, running back
Johnson is a former second-rounder from the Detroit Lions and has obvious talent. He was another injury designation and was listed as week-to-week.
The Jets have a lot of mouths to feed in their backfield, but Johnson when healthy and on the field has proven to be dynamic.
Kelvin Harmon, wide receiver
I loved Harmon coming out of the NFL draft last year and unfortunately, he lost a numbers battle in Washington who is overflowing with talent. The Jets are dealing with a similar first-world problem at wideout, but I’d be willing to throw the dice on a player of this caliber.
Noah Spence, EDGE
Call me a sucker for traits, but I loved Spence coming out of the draft a few years ago. Unfortunately, he has been hampered by injuries at the NFL level, but he’d be a nice talented piece of clay to see if Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich can get something out of.
Prince Amukamara, cornerback
A super talented player that apparently the New Orleans Saints did a favor for by releasing him early (first round of cuts). In theory that should present him a golden opportunity to catch on somewhere else.
We talked about the positional need earlier, so that makes sense, and why not return him to the big apple?
James Burgess Jr, linebacker
Wait, another potential reunion? Why the heck not! James Burgess was a key part of the infamous Jets team back in 2019. The linebacking corps exploded with Avery Williamson and CJ Mosley both going down with injuries and someone had to play the position.
Burgess had a career year: started 10 games, got an interception, recorded five pass deflections, got a forced fumble and fumble recovery, and accumulated over 80 tackles with eight of those going for a loss.
Since leaving the team a few years ago he has yet to find the same level of success, but he’s a talented player at a critical position of need for Gang Green.