As another lost New York Jets season unfolds, it’s time to evaluate this 53-man roster from top to bottom. Let’s continue with No. 51 Kelechi Osemele.
Unemployed New York Jets ex-general manager Mike Maccagnan‘s final misstep was his March swap of 2020 early day three picks with the Oakland Raiders.
In exchange for assuming the $9.85 million contract of a 30-year-old junkyard-dog offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, dominant since his 2012 rookie campaign for the Super Bowl champion Ravens.
Coach Adam Gase has mishandled many locker room issues. But none was worse than his handling of the medical reports of Jets team doctors regarding Osemele’s torn right labrum.
During practices, Osemele refused to participate and demanded shoulder surgery. After undergoing injections of the anti-inflammatory Toradol. The Jets retaliated by fining the two-time pro bowler/one-time All-Pro the maximum amount ($579,000 per week) for conduct detrimental to the team. Eight days later came his outright release.
The Jets were incensed that it was not until Osemele’s benching after three miserable games (189 snaps) that such debilitating medical issues came to light. Osemele, in turn, filed a grievance after he underwent non-approved surgery in Boston, and discovered that his shoulder damage was far more extensive than expected.
There are three sides to every story.
Most believable was former Jets/Ravens star Bart Scott’s inference that Osemele said nothing about any shoulder issues in order to receive his hefty 2019 pact. But that this seven-year veteran wasn’t the type of masochistic player able to withstand 16 grueling games in pain before undergoing post-season surgery.
In all, the frosty staredown was another bad optic for a franchise anxious to repair a reputation for rudderless dysfunction.
If a free agent wanted max money and the Jets came calling, would they be wrong to question the organization’s medical ethics? Do you really think team surgeons would have their back?