Jets Abruptly Cut Young RB, Add Some Depth to Trenches

Zonovan Knight, Jets

Getty Former New York Jets running back Zonovan Knight breaking a tackle during an NFL preseason game.

The New York Jets went through some roster gymnastics ahead of the season opener versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Gang Green announced on social media that they signed veteran offensive lineman Conor McDermott. In a corresponding move, they surprisingly cut running back Zonovan Knight.

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No Not Him!


Antwan Staley previews Jets, Ravens + top storylines to watchBoy Green is joined by Antwan Staley who covers the New York Jets for the New York Daily News! Preview the Week 1 game between the Jets and the Baltimore Ravens + how you can hang out with us and party before the game! We have partnered with the Middle Initial Podcast to host a…2022-09-02T01:47:48Z

The Jets only had one backup offensive tackle on the roster after the final 53-man roster cuts.

That man was Max Mitchell who was selected with the No. 111 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

So it made sense that they wanted to add some more beef and protection for whoever is playing quarterback. A McDermott reunion made sense when he got back healthy.

Although what was marked as a bit of a surprise was the abrupt release of Knight.

Head coach Robert Saleh was just throwing a ton of rose petals at his feet for doing the improbable of making an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent.

A week later he is handed his walking papers. The NFL is a cold business and nothing is ever guaranteed.

For what it’s worth Antwan Staley of the New York Daily News told me during our interview on my podcast moments after the story broke, that he would anticipate Knight being brought back on the practice squad.


A Difference of Opinion


VideoVideo related to jets abruptly cut young rb, add some depth to trenches2022-09-05T16:40:06-04:00

The thing that is even stranger than Knight getting cut for McDermott is who they kept over him.

Ty Johnson was the apple of everyone’s eye during the 2021 offseason. A try-hard from the Detroit Lions who scratched and clawed his way to a role with the Jets.

However last season he disappointed with a slew of key drops and just didn’t take advantage of his opportunities on the football field.

So much so that from a Jets fan’s perspective, he wasn’t even expected to make the roster. Despite that noise, Johnson was penciled in as the third or fourth running back behind roster locks Breece Hall and Michael Carter after final roster cuts.

Now we found out this week exactly where Johnson stands in the running back pecking order: No. 3 not No. 4. That was evidenced by the Jets’ decision to cut bait on Knight over potentially doing that to Johnson.

At the end of the day, this conversation is somewhat inconsequential.

We are talking about the backend of the running back position. In 2022 this show should and likely will run through MC1 and Hall in some sort of tandem. Johnson and Knight if he is later brought back are ancillary pieces to the puzzle.

However, it’s still hard to understand the Jets keeping a limited player offensively over a youngster that has an interesting ceiling. Gang Green just has to hope he clears through waivers so he can sign back onto the practice squad.


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