There are always free agents that fans bang the drum for. Sometimes they are bigger names, sometimes they are nothing more than reserves with an appealing potential to become more.
In this case, New York Jets fans voiced their interest in safety Marquise Blair — who was released by the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, the fan-favorite target agreed to sign with the Carolina Panthers practice squad this afternoon on September 5.
Pro Football Focus reporter Doug Kyed announced the news.
The Trade That Never Was
If you’re wondering where this fascination began with Blair, it started around the time of the Jamal Adams trade. Seattle Sports writer Joe Fann polled Seahawks fans on the former second-round safety’s inclusion in a deal for Adams that involved two first-round picks.
In the end, the Jets did send Adams to the Seahawks for two first-rounders as we know, only Bradley McDougald joined the Green & White instead of Blair.
Fans remembered that connection this summer after the youngster’s release from Seattle. “Marquise Blair [free safety], been wanting [him] since [the] Jamal trade. Back with [D.J. Reed Jr.]. Yesssirrrr,” voiced one fan on August 30.
Spend some time on Jets Twitter over the past week and the Blair theory was the hot suggestion for replacing Jason Pinnock — who was claimed by the New York Giants last week. This strange obsession with the ex-Seahawk coming to NYC may have fallen short once again but if the fans are searching for youth at safety, perhaps the real solution is already on the roster.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh made it clear that he was nervous that he might lose undrafted rookie Tony Adams if they had decided to sneak him onto the practice squad. “He’s got a bright future ahead of him,” credited the Jets HC. “I would’ve been sick if we were to have lost him.”
At 23 years old, the Illinois product could be the long-term safety answer that fans have been looking for. Ironically, his last name is Adams.
2 Ex-Jets Sign With New Teams
Included in that Blair tweet from Kyed was a Henry Anderson mention. You might remember the former Jets defensive lineman from his three seasons with Gang Green.
Anderson ballooned expectations with seven sacks during his first campaign and only 1.5 over his final 29 appearances. He joined the rival New England Patriots after that but struggled to stay on the field, playing just four games in 2021.
Like Blair, Anderson is signing with the Panthers — although his addition appears to be to the 53-man roster.
This was another practice squad deal for the undrafted wide receiver that spent three campaigns with the Jets organization. He got his most burn in 2019, catching 17 passes for 225 receiving yards over four starts and 13 appearances.
Year after year, the opportunities dried up for Smith after the wideout struggled with routes and drops during his summer auditions. His Jets career ended after two games played and one incomplete target in 2021.
After a brief stint with Tampa Bay, Smith’s speed earns him one more NFL shot. This time, he’ll try and push for playing time with Russell Wilson and the Broncos.