Promising Playmaker Ditches Jets for Bitter Rival: Report

Lawrence Cager, Jets

Getty Former New York Jets tight end Lawrence Cager making a play during an NFL preseason game.

The New York Jets played roster Russian roulette this week and lost.

Lawrence Cager was cut by the team on Saturday, October 15, and decided to join the New York Giants practice squad on Tuesday, October 18.

According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, Cager had an offer on the table to return to the Jets practice squad but he declined it for a new opportunity.

Lawrence Cager Skips out on Jets Offer, Bolts to Giants

The Jets made a series of roster moves over the last few days that included dumping veteran offensive tackle Conor McDermott and Cager, with the expectation being that both players would be invited back onto the practice squad.

McDermott accepted that by re-signing with the Jets on Tuesday, but Cager decided to get a fresh start somewhere else.

When NFL teams make moves they calculate risk versus reward.

It is a constant game of musical chairs that features a lot of informed guessing and a bit of luck.

The Jets were playing around with their roster and thought they could cut Cager and still bring him back later. Clearly, the former Georgia and Miami product had other ideas and now he will be suiting up for a bitter rival.

Lawrence Cager Will Continue His Remarkable Story With Giants

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound wide receiver initially entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2020.

Cager has always possessed obvious physical gifts but hadn’t been successful in putting all of the pieces together for one reason or another.

After spending a year with the Jets floating between their practice squad and active roster, he jumped at a new opportunity in 2021 with the Cleveland Browns.

It was once again the same song and dance of floating between both sides with the Browns as Cager failed to find success as an NFL prospect.

However, something changed when he came back and signed a reserve/futures contract with the team this past January. When the Jets officially announced the move on social media they revealed that Cager was ditching the wide receiver spot to become a tight end.

Cager took the transition seriously and added a ton of weight getting up to 241 pounds. When he originally joined the squad in January he was listed at 220 pounds.

On top of the physical transformation, Cager was able to improve his blocking, a must at the tight end position, and impressed the coaching staff throughout the offseason.

It still seemed like the project tight end had little to no chance to make the 53-man roster and was nothing more than a feel-good offseason storyline.

Especially considering the Jets invested over $45 million in free agency to add CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. Then a month later in the 2022 NFL draft, they selected Jeremy Ruckert as the No. 101 overall pick in the third round.

The tight end room went from one of the worst to one of the deepest in all of football in a blink of an eye. While that was good for the Jets and their fans, that didn’t seem to leave a favorable path for Cager to make the roster.

Despite those long odds, Cager just put his head down and worked incredibly hard to refine his craft and learn a completely new position on the fly.

All of that paid off when Cager surprisingly made the roster and earned some massive praise from the coaching staff.

Cager may have only been a camp body on the surface but he forced the Jets to keep him because he became indispensable. As head coach Robert Saleh put it he “created a unique skill set” that differentiated himself from everyone else in the room.

With the Giants, he will have a much clearer path to playing time than he would have had with the Jets. Cager made a smart business decision but it still hurts from a fan perspective because he was an easy guy to root for.

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