Roster cuts are on the horizon for the New York Jets as here are the top five players who are in danger of not making it.
With three preseason games in the books, several players are on the roster bubble of the New York Jets. Either they haven’t done much of anything in these preseason games or simply didn’t get any reps to showcase their skills due to others way ahead of them on the depth chart.
The Jets end their preseason on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles which will be one last shot for many players hoping to make the final roster of the Jets. There are a lot of players that are hanging on by a thread while others have shined throughout training camp and preseason action.
As the Jets are hoping to bounce back after two straight losing seasons, it’s important they field a team that can at least be competitive in 2018. The time is now to show some progress and at least have more than five wins to show for it.
For now, here are the top five players who are in danger of not making the regular season roster of the Jets. Anything can change in the preseason finale but these players have a lot to do in order to prove their worth.
5. Wide Receiver ArDarius Stewart
Throughout all of training camp and for most of preseason action, wide receiver ArDarius Stewart has been on the outside looking in. He hasn’t done much of anything and only showed some minor flashes in the Jets Week 3 preseason loss to the New York Giants.
Make no mistake about it, Stewart isn’t worth keeping around since the Jets have a lot of better and more consistent options to work within the positional group. Expectations for him were high when the Jets drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft but so far, Stewart has bust written all over him.
Besides his lack of being able to make plays where it matters most on the gridiron, Stewart is also facing a two-game suspension to start the season due violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Factoring everything, it’s just a waste of a roster spot to use on Stewart who is already heading in the wrong direction. There is simply no incentive for keeping him considering the Jets have plenty of other wide receivers ready to play this upcoming season that will have much more of an impact.
Next: 4. Kicker Taylor Bertolet
4. Kicker Taylor Bertolet
Kicker Taylor Bertolet has received the bulk of kicking duties during the past few weeks but the writing was on the wall when the Jets signed a veteran for the positional group. Right before their Week 3 preseason matchup against the Giants, the Jets added veteran kicker Jason Myers to the mix.
Bertolet missed a big point after touchdown against the Giants as he showed some of his inexperience. On the other hand, Myers is a veteran of three years in the league and performed well on such quick notice when his number was called.
Knowing how head coach Todd Bowles likes to handle situations between veterans and rookies, the nod likely goes to Myers due to all the experience he brings to the table. Bertolet made the most out of the situation with kicker Cairo Santos out with a groin injury but at the end of the day, experience is always king.
Bertolet is a decent kicker but Myers has the experience in clutch situations from his three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Expect to see Bowles go with his gut and with an experienced player that can deliver when his team needs it most in kicking situations.
Next: 3. Wide Receiver Lucky Whitehead
3. Wide Receiver Lucky Whitehead
The Jets were hoping to find a capable kickoff and punt returner in wide receiver Lucky Whitehead but unfortunately, he hasn’t lived up to his past when with the Dallas Cowboys. Whitehead put up decent numbers over the past few years but nothing has translated to current results with the Jets.
Whitehead didn’t so much as get a single snap in the Jets Week 3 loss to the Giants. They opted to not even use him in any special teams packages either which doesn’t bode well for his chances to make the final roster of the Jets.
The only area that would have made sense for Whitehead to earn a roster spot would have been on special teams but he’s been a non-factor with likely nothing to change from here on out. Whitehead missed most of last season due to breaking his foot and was placed on injured reserve by the Cowboys.
The Jets picked him up late last season and stashed him on the practice squad with hopes of him bringing a high-quality presence to their kickoff and punt return game in the future. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Whitehead won’t be making the final cut since others ahead of him will get the nod for return duties on special teams.
Next: 2. Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin
2. Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin
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For months now, linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin hasn’t been able to get healthy and return to the solid player he was in his rookie season. Not only did he miss all of last season due to severely injuring his back that required surgery, but he hasn’t been standing out in training camp or preseason action.
Mauldin was being groomed to be a consistent pass rusher but injuries and a steep decline in play have recently defined him. There isn’t much Mauldin can do as he’s been relegated to the third-string team and barely getting any reps in preseason games.
The Jets will likely move on from Mauldin after taking a big chance on him in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He started off red-hot but over the past few years has fizzled out.
Mauldin has a great mentality and is a hard worker as he’ll likely find a backup spot on another team. It’s sad it won’t be with the Jets but that is part of the business as Mauldin hasn’t developed as originally expected.
Next: 1. Wide Receiver Chad Hansen
1. Wide Receiver Chad Hansen
Wow, what a tremendous fall from the top, eh? Wide receiver Chad Hansen turned a lot of heads during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp but has fallen off completely where it matters most in preseason action.
Hansen has completely been phased out in training camp by other players on the depth chart that have surprisingly surpassed him. He’s gotten opportunities to play in preseason games but hasn’t made any progress at all.
Since the Jets are rebuilding for a brighter future, it’s hard to find a situation in which Hansen is kept on the final roster to start the regular season for the team. If the Jets go with six wide receivers on the regular season depth chart, Hansen hasn’t done enough to earn a spot.
Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jermaine Kearse, Tre McBride, Terrelle Pryor, and Charles Johnson are all ahead of Hansen. It’s a shame since he was heading in the right direction but with nothing to show as of late, it’s best to move on from him and focus on players that will contribute consistently.