Jets Surprisingly Dump Veteran Linebacker Ahead of Bears Game

Marcell Harris, Jets

Getty Former New York Jets linebacker Marcell Harris making a gesture ahead of an NFL game.

The New York Jets have made a change to their defense.

According to the latest NFL transaction report, Gang Green released veteran linebacker Marcell Harris on November 24.

The NFL is a cold-blooded business and the sooner we realize it the better off we’ll be.

Harris was dumped on Thanksgiving which is typically a holiday based around football, food, and spending time with your loved ones.

Evaluating the Jets LB Room Post Marcell Harris

Harris originally joined the league back in 2018 as the No. 184 overall pick in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

The 28-year-old ended up spending the first four years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. This offseason he changed allegiances when he signed with the Jets ahead of the 2022 NFL draft in late April.

It provided the Jets some nice flexibility in the draft so they didn’t have to force a square peg in a round hole.

With that depth, Gang Green decided against selecting a linebacker or a safety during the 2022 NFL draft.

Harris was drafted as a strong safety but he made the conversion to linebacker during the end of his run in San Francisco.

When the Jets signed him this offseason they listed him at linebacker.

He didn’t start a game for Gang Green this year, but he did appear in 10 games. Harris really showed a lot of chutzpah in those contests according to the Pro Football Focus analytics:

  • 64.4 overall grade
  • 71.3 run defense grade

Interestingly the green and white did not make a corresponding move. So with that being said, the Jets should have an extra roster spot to play with and we’ll see how they fill it over the coming days.

Sorting out the Jets Rotation at Linebacker Moving Forward

Harris had a high usage rate on the defensive side of the ball early in the season (Week 3 and Week 4), but he completely disappeared after that.

Over the last six games, the former Florida product had only registered a grand total of 19 defensive snaps combined.

However, he has proven to be a consistent contributor on special teams. Outside of Week 4, Harris has played at least 57 percent of the special teams’ snap every single game this season.

Now the Jets will have to find some new answers on that side of the ball and perhaps find some insurance at linebacker.

With Harris gone, the Jets have four linebackers left on the 53-man active roster:

One possibility could be simply promoting someone from the practice squad. The Jets have two players they could bring up whether that be on a short-term or long-term basis.

Hamsah Nasirildeen was a member of the 2021 Jets draft class and has been developing on the practice squad. While Chazz Surratt joined the Jets back in early September and has been patiently biding his time.

Either way, the team goes, they should be covered with the Harris release from an in-house perspective. That strategy may change in 2023 from a long-term perspective, but they can figure it out through the rest of this season.

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