The shock of the initial roster cuts for the New York Jets featured a double release most people didn’t see coming.
Jason Pinnock, a former fifth-round draft choice, was surprisingly dumped on the side of the road. While the organization is hopeful he can come back to the practice squad, it is still stunning he was released in the first place.
Then that news was followed up by another shocking uppercut when defensive back Will Parks was handed his walking papers. Suddenly the safety room for the Jets was looking very interesting, to say the least.
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They Have a Plan?
Most people assumed with all of this movement that there must be a bigger plan at work here. Maybe the Jets have their eyes set on a safety shaking loose on the waiver wire? Oh, perhaps a blockbuster Jessie Bates trade is coming?
Instead, we got our answer a few hours later when head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media.
“A big credit to TA (Tony Adams): undrafted and did a really good job of every single day finding ways to get better and better. He has a bright future ahead of him. We would have been sick if we lost him. [Also a] credit to Ashtyn Davis, just their overall body of work. When you include OTAs, training camp, their game time (what they did in the game), practice, and special teams played a big part of it also. Really happy with that group that we’ve got.”
The four safeties the Jets kept on the initial roster were Jordan Whitehead, Lamarcus Joyner, Tony Adams, and Ashtyn Davis.
If your response to this quote was who?! That seems to be a perfectly reasonable response based on the last several weeks of training camp and even factoring in the preseason games.
Adams was one of several undrafted free agents the Jets signed back in late April. However, throughout this entire process, he has completely flown under the radar.
I’ll take the biggest L here of anyone and say during our roster cut predictions dating all the way back to mid-August, I’m fairly certain I had Adams leaving after the initial cuts. Now he is on the initial 53-man roster and based on Saleh’s comments I imagine he is going to be here for a long time.
Just Gotta Trust the Process
This is going to have to be one of those scenarios where the fans will have to execute blind faith in the coaching staff.
Even members of the beat had no idea Adams was going to make the roster in their predictions, yet it happened.
The one quote and vote of confidence that stands out from me is Saleh said they would be “sick” if they would have lost Adams. That strong emotion is clearly the reason they were okay risking both Pinnock and Parks.
At this point, we have no other choice but to tip our caps and trust a defensive guru in Saleh who has seen Adams every day.
That seemed to work out pretty well last year when Saleh had a similar inkling about his cornerback group. While they weren’t the best in the NFL, they were certainly serviceable which is a lot better than anyone else thought they’d be.
Longtime former NFL player Mike DeVito responded to Adam’s viral tweet about him making the roster on Tuesday, August 30 saying, “in this day and age to make the roster as an undrafted free agent is borderline miraculous.”
DeVito is 100 percent right and he deserves all the credit in the world for that. Also a tip of the hat to Zonovan “Bam” Knight who did the same thing at running back this year as an undrafted free agent.
I’ll say this for Adams, he and his representation chose the right team. The Jets had one locked-in starter at safety in Jordan Whitehead and a lot of unknowns.
After the draft, the former Illinois product likely had multiple offers and skimmed through them to try and figure out which team offered him the best chance at an NFL gig.
Now he is on an NFL roster and the coach believes he has a very bright future ahead of him.
This amazing story was the perfect combination of hard work, dedication, overcoming the odds, the right team, and a good defensive scheme.