As the New York Jets prepare for minicamp and eventually training camp, is linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in jeopardy of losing his roster spot?
When the New York Jets drafted linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in the 2015 NFL Draft, he quickly became a household name. In his rookie season, he surprised many with his speed and ability to create quality pressure against opposing quarterbacks.
In 2015, Mauldin totaled four sacks and seven tackles. He regressed a little in 2016, totaling just 2.5 sacks and seven tackles. Unfortunately that season, Mauldin severely injured his back to the point where he needed surgery.
That back surgery caused him to miss all of last season and considering he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract, doesn’t bode well for his future with the Jets. The coaching staff and fans alike won’t know if he’ll be able to come back and play consistently until later this summer but could Mauldin be a training camp casualty?
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In the grand scheme of things, if Mauldin comes back to training camp and either doesn’t play up to par or is limited due to his back, it’s likely the Jets will cut him before the start of the regular season. It all comes down to if he can return to how he was when he first got drafted into the league or not.
The Jets defense is sorely missing consistent pass rushers and since this was an area Mauldin did well in from the start, could be his only way to guarantee his tenure with the team. If he can come back and be as effective as he was just a few years ago, his roster spot should be fine. If not, expect to see the Jets part ways with him and go in another direction with the positional group.
Overall, watching what Mauldin does during training camp will be one of the many stories involving the Jets this summer. Hopefully, he rises to the occasion and proves his worth to the decision makers. Otherwise, he’ll have to find a new team willing to give him another opportunity before the start of the regular season.