New York Jets: The Ryan Kalil experiment has officially come to an end
By Justin Fried
New York Jets center Ryan Kalil has officially been placed on the injured reserve all but bringing an end to his brief, tumultuous tenure with the team.
The New York Jets took a chance on the briefly-retired Ryan Kalil in August hoping that he would fix the team’s significant issue at the center position.
It was an understandably bold move by general manager Joe Douglas who was looking for any method to fix the Jets’ biggest roster holes after missing out on a chance to do so in the offseason.
Unfortunately, the signing didn’t work out how any of the parties involved would have liked.
Kalil would go on to play in just seven games with the Jets serving as a centerpiece in the league’s worst offensive line from a statistical standpoint. He would be given a lowly 46.7 grade from Pro Football Focus while being tabbed for five accepted penalties in just seven games.
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But it’s hard to truly detail just how poorly he played with analytics and statistics.
Kalil was benched mid-game in Week 2 in favor of Jonotthan Harrison — the player he was brought in to be a direct replacement for. And when Harrison stepped on the field, it was clear that he was the better option.
In his defense, Kalil did battle multiple injuries throughout the year. An elbow injury sustained earlier in the year hindered the fist-half of his season while a knee injury would ultimately be the thing to end it as he’s officially been placed on the injured reserve.
And now, it appears as though his time with the Jets — and likely his football career, again — is over.
For Kalil, it’s a shame that this entire ordeal ever happened. The 34-year-old was already a five-time Pro Bowler and Carolina Panthers legend before opting to come out of retirement. His stint with the Jets only tarnished his NFL legacy.
And for the Jets, this is likely a move that Douglas regrets making. That said, it’s hard to fault his line of thinking.
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Douglas inherited a Jets team that still had plenty of holes at key positions — as evidenced by their performance this season. Signing Kalil was his outside-the-box attempt at filling one of those holes ahead of the season.
Evidently, it didn’t work. But that doesn’t mean that the idea was foolish.
Harrison will likely continue to start at center for the remainder of the season and the former Indianapolis Colts lineman has done an admirable job filling in at the position in the past. The 28-year-old has made 12 starts for the Jets over the past three seasons.
It’s unlikely that he’s the center the team rolls with next year, however, as Douglas will now have a full offseason to correct the mistakes of prior regimes. And you better believe he’s going to start with a complete upheaval of the offensive line.
The idea was smart, but the outcome simply wasn’t what was expected. The Ryan Kalil era in New York has ended not with a bang, but with a whimper.