As another lost New York Jets season unfolds, it’s time to evaluate this 53-man roster from top to bottom. We continue our rankings with #52 Ryan Kalil.
Center (IR), New York Jets
New York Jets coach Bill Parcells famously said, “if you’re thinking about retirement, you’re retired.”
The Panthers’ second-round pick in the 2007 draft — a five-time All-Pro over 12 seasons — played his entire career in Carolina. His final year he got to play alongside his younger brother left tackle Mike Kalil, who signed with the Panthers for 2018 to share that bonding experience. Many people close to Ryan expressed surprise, especially after he gained 35 pounds retired.
The Southern California beach product said back in August that he’d been back hitting the gym, and “had the itch” to return. Douglas persuaded Kalil that he perfectly fit into the type of team and culture the Jets were trying to build.
What seemed like a smart stopgap measure — as well as a good way to help groom a young quarterback — turned into an unmitigated disaster that could’ve gotten Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk killed.
Khalil endured seven awful games for Gang Green before his knees gave. But his biggest final Panthers annual pact was for $4.5 Million. His Jets per-game bonus-laden contract was for a reported $8.4 million — so he will actualize $6.7 in earnings. Not bad for 90 days of work.
Perhaps the new braintrust’s biggest misjudgment was in underrating Jonotthan Harrison — and believing that old-man Kalil was such an upgrade that he needed to be rushed into action.
Over the past six games, Harrison’s play has been a significant upgrade and stopgap measure. The shaky offensive line has stabilized a bit — with Harrison under center.
Hopefully, Khalil’s itch to return has finally been scratched.