When he was a wide receiver, Cager simply couldn’t crack the lineup. Back in January, he made the conversion to tight end and things have been going swimmingly.
Now it appears he has a legitimate path to a roster spot or at worst a place on the practice squad.
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A Beautiful Transformation
During Cager’s conversion to tight end this offseason, he packed on a ton of weight and redefined his body.
In the early portion of OTAs (offseason training activities) and mandatory minicamp he appeared to be a real weapon in the making.
Those same positive vibes and observations were apparent after the first preseason game.
Connor Rogers of Bleacher Report and the Badlands feed recently highlighted him on Twitter:
“The Lawrence Cager move to tight end is off to a good start. His catch and run athleticism isn’t surprising, but he showed no hesitation blocking last night either.”
As a former wide receiver, all of the success as a mismatch nightmare hasn’t been surprising in the passing game. However, the complete projection from the position switch has been as a blocker.
You couldn’t make any real determinations in spring ball because it was all seven-on-seven work. However, now that we have seen him with the pads on, Cager has made some real strides.
In Zack Rosenblatt’s notebook for The Athletic said that Cager impressed with the one-handed snag and additionally made a “leaping grab” that went for a 20-yard gain which put the offense in the red zone.
A Path to Success
Coming off of the Eagles game, Cager was the highest-graded member of the team with a 92.7 grade from Pro Football Focus.
No matter what he does, Cager at best will be fourth in the pecking order at tight end.
CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Jeremy Ruckert all either make more money or have higher pedigrees than he does. It is unclear how the Jets plan on utilizing their roster construction for the 2022 season.
So Cager could be fighting for that fourth spot at tight end or quite possibly for a practice squad spot.
Although if Cager keeps balling out the way he has then he might force the Jets’ hand. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
In other words, the Jets likely planned for life without Cager, but with his impressive play they may be forced to factor him into their long-term plans.
If they cut him ahead of final roster cuts, Cager might not pass through waivers without another team stealing him away. He has an array of tantalizing tools and they may be too tempting to test in the open waters.