Monster Weapon Is ‘Turning Heads’ at Jets Practice: Report

Lawrence Cager, Jets

Getty New York Jets playmaker Lawrence Cager making a diving attempt during an NFL contest.

They say you should never judge a book by its cover.

Despite that warning, several people did exactly that as they looked at the New York Jets roster sheet this offseason. Now a certain player is making them pay for overlooking him.

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Making Plays

Connor Hughes of The Athletic called wide receiver-turned-tight end, Lawrence Cager, the “real star” of Jets OTAs so far this offseason.

He has been exclusively working with the third-team offense and that has contributed to his success, per Hughes, in facing the third-team defense.

However, his previous experience as a wide receiver is allowing him to be a mismatch nightmare when facing slower linebackers and smaller members of the secondary in practice.

Hughes called him “clearly the most athletic player” the Jets have at the tight end position thanks to his wideout background.

Last season Cager checked in at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. When he was re-weighed this offseason Cager said he is now at 241 pounds and down to eight percent body fat.

The green and white completely turned over the tight end position this offseason by making three significant additions:

Although two of those new toys have been battling minor injuries in Uzomah and Ruckert. With those two out, that has opened the door of opportunity, and Cager has taken full advantage.

Hughes says Cager is someone that has been “turning heads” during his opportunities and has just made a consistent impact in every practice catching two or three balls every day.

A Tough Path

If Cager would’ve made this transition and been on the Jets roster anywhere in the last decade he likely could’ve been the starter at tight end due to the lack of options over the years.

However that isn’t the case, instead, he is in the middle of one of the deepest positional groups on the Gang Green roster in 2022.

“Cager’s chances of making the 53-man roster will come down to his blocking ability,” says Connor Hughes of The Athletic. “He hasn’t had to do that throughout OTAs because it’s been a passing camp — literally, no run plays in the team or red-zone period. He’ll be a fun player to watch this summer because, if he can hold his own there, he might be a dark horse to make the team.”

On the Can’t-Wait Podcast, Hughes called Cager a “longshot” to make the final 53, but there is a chance if he can show some blocking prowess that he could unseat Trevon Wesco for that last spot in the tight end rotation.

Cager has always been an intriguing talent who originally came to the Jets as an undrafted free agent back in 2020. In two seasons he has only played in three total games and caught two receptions for 35 yards.

That lack of success early on forced him to make a positional change to keep his NFL career alive. Now it looks like the desperation change could result in a renaissance at the ripe age of 24 (he will be 25 by the start of the 2022 season).

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