Former 2012 1st-round selection for the NY Jets Quinton Coples has been waived following their 24-17 loss to the Houston Texans.
The Jets have waived the 25-year old linebacker this past Monday, three years after selecting him in the first round. Coples was considered one of the best pass rushers in the 2012 NFL Draft along with Bruce Irvin, Chandler Jones and Whitney Mercilus. However, the 6’6 pass rusher was never able to settle in and secure a full-time job on the Jets’ defense, switching roles from defensive end to outside linebacker.
When Todd Bowles was appointed the new head coach of the Jets, Coples was expected to have more time attacking opposing quarterbacks while spending less time dropping back into coverage. Despite the theory, Coples snaps were limited and so was his time as a Jet. Ultimately, the Jets decided their defensive scheme was not a good fit for the young linebacker and decided to waive him.
The decision to waive the former 1st-rounder was based on his inability to produce on defense. While the decision to decline his $7.8 million option in 2016 wasn’t a surprise, the fact that they’ve waived Coples mid-way through the season was a surprise. Despite his lack of production, Coples served as a rotational pass rusher for the Jets.
With Sheldon Richardson battling injuries, it may have been wise to hold on to the young buck just until Richardson was deemed healthy. Nevertheless, Coples never progressed under Bowles’ defense remaining behind guys such as Leger Douzable on the pass rusher depth chart.
Following his release, the Jets have praised rookie linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, who continues to develop and produce on defense. He currently rotates in on defense behind starter Calvin Pace and Douzable.
Coples stats through the first 10 games of the 2015 regular season consisted of zero sacks. He recorded a career high 6.5 sacks in 2014 and a total of 16.5 sacks throughout the first three years of his career. Coples fate now relies on the waiver wire, teams with the worst record in the NFL have first dibs on claiming the linebacker, beginning with the Cleveland Browns.
Coples never progressed into the pass rusher/outside linebacker role the Jets hoped he would. While his time with the Jets has reached the end, his time in the NFL has just begun. The 25-year old linebacker will definitely find a new home with a team. There are many teams that Coples could very much offer value for as both a linebacker and pass rusher.
Coples will find a new home in the NFL soon, the question right now is, which team will claim him? Could it be the Cleveland Browns, or could it be the Buffalo Bills who seem to claim any former Jet they can such as IK Enemkpali, Walter Powell, and Percy Harvin?
With the departure of Coples, rookie Mauldin could see a much increased role in the Jets’ defense.