A loyal reader asks if defensive tackle Steve McLendon makes the final cut of the New York Jets. Time to analyze over a cup of coffee.
The defensive line of the New York Jets is easily one of if not the biggest strength of the entire team. It’s filled with Pro Bowl talent and well, should hopefully be able to bring consistent pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Besides Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Leonard Williams don’t forget about defensive tackle Steve McLendon.
When it comes to everything he brings to the Jets, it’s hard to envision reasons why the franchise might consider parting ways with him. On one hand, they want to usher in a youth movement and make sure their younger players get as much regular season experience as possible. McLendon turned 31 years old earlier this year and one reader asks if he’s on the roster bubble.
In case you didn’t know, my Coffee with the Jets series is an open forum for my readers on Twitter to ask anything they’d like to be answered right here on The Jet Press. This time around, Carlos asked the following about McLendon:
@LTJ81 hi, allow me to trouble you with a random question. Do you think Steve McClendon makes the 53? We might need him back in Pittsburgh
— Carlos (@ca_salasv) August 5, 2017
Thanks for your question, Carlos, and no trouble at all! Sorry to your Pittsburgh Steelers but he’s ours! McLendon is currently under contract with the Jets at least for this season but can be cut in 2018 with just a $750 thousand salary cap hit.
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If the Jets cut him at any point this year, they will take a $1.5 million dollar salary cap hit which isn’t much considering a big reason the franchise should keep him is his production and leadership. In his first season with the Jets last year, McLendon totaled 20 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.
Besides that, he has great leadership and is a veteran in the locker room. All throughout training camp, McLendon has been vocal and rallying the troops when need be. He’s called defensive team huddles numerous times with his teammates to get everyone focused on the task at hand.
Ultimately, expect to see McLendon make the final cut since he’s starting material and again, brings great leadership to the team. The only way he would be released is if backup defensive tackle Deon Simon continues to play lights out football and makes his case to step up on the depth chart as a starter. Simon is good but isn’t there just yet as McLendon should make the final cut as a starter.
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