NY Jets fans won’t be happy if these three players are cut later this weekend.
The NY Jets are just a couple of days away from the roster cutdown period where the team will have to trim its roster from the current 80-player size all the way down to 53.
There will surely be some difficult cuts to make and it’s very likely that there are a few surprises in there. Just a look at last year paints a pretty good picture.
Remember the shock when third-round pick Jachai Polite was cut before playing a single game with the team? He was joined by a couple of other surprise releases in Elijah McGuire and Deontay Burnett.
They may not seem so shocking now, but at the time, those decisions certainly raised some eyebrows. Burnett’s release, in particular, drew the ire of many fans who yearned for him and Sam Darnold to continue reliving their USC days.
Who could this year’s Deontay Burnett be? Which players could find themselves looking for a new home this weekend much to the chagrin of Jets fans?
It’s an interesting question and one that’s certainly worth asking as we approach cut day. It is worth noting that because of the increased practice squads (16 players), it’s very likely that these guys will end up there if they don’t make the roster.
And just as a brief spoiler, all three players we’re going to talk about happen to be undrafted free agents. It just worked out that way.
With that, let’s take a look at three possible cuts that could anger a portion of the fanbase.
Next: 3. George Campbell
3. George Campbell, WR, NY Jets
The Jets have experienced an unprecedented number of injuries at the wide receiver position this summer — a position they were already incredibly thin at.
But one of the few players who’s managed to stay healthy has been undrafted rookie George Campbell.
A former five-star recruit, Campbell never managed to do much in his college career primarily due to a string of injuries. After a few years at Florida State where he struggled to get on the field, he transferred to West Virginia for his senior season.
And while he only hauled in 19 catches, he somehow managed a ridiculous 469 yards and seven touchdowns. Not only did he score on more than a third of his touches, but his 24.7 yards per reception would have ranked first in the nation if he had enough catches to qualify.
Campbell’s size/speed blend intrigued the Jets and the team’s fans alike despite his lack of collegiate production. Given the injuries at the position, the Jets have seen quite a bit of Campbell this summer.
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And the former top high school recruit has flashed his big-play ability making a strong impression in training camp. Unfortunately, that might not be enough to save him a roster spot.
Campbell is still incredibly raw as a receiver and it’s likely his only path to the 53-man roster is through special teams. The Jets will, in all likelihood, keep a player with his physical traits around on the practice squad, but the active roster remains improbable despite the injuries.
That might upset some fans, but at least we could take solace in knowing that he should hopefully remain a part of the organization in one way or another.
Next: 2. Bryce Huff
2. Bryce Huff, OLB, NY Jets
Perhaps no undrafted free agent that the Jets signed was as hyped up as Bryce Huff. A former standout pass-rusher at Memphis, Huff made a name for himself because of his high work ethic and relentless motor.
Because of that, the Jets gave Huff more guaranteed money than any of their undrafted signings indicating that he stood a good chance of making the roster.
Unfortunately, he’s had a rather quiet training camp. Huff has been virtually invisible in practice with not a single notable play that stands out.
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Luvu, in particular, flashed his athleticism beating first-round pick Mekhi Becton with a spin move to secure a sack during Sunday’s practice.
Huff is by no means guaranteed a roster spot and his quiet training camp certainly hasn’t done him any favors. If the Jets carry four outside linebackers, Huff is probably the odd-man-out.
Again, that might not sit well with many fans who saw him as an ideal rotational pass-rusher, but based on merit alone, it’s hard to see him making the team.
A practice squad slot seems likely if he isn’t picked up on waivers, but his spot on the active roster looks much less certain than it did entering camp.
Next: 1. Lawrence Cager
1. Lawrence Cager, WR, NY Jets
George Campbell isn’t the only undrafted wide receiver fighting for a roster spot. And he might not be the only one to disappoint fans when he’s ultimately cut.
Undrafted rookie Lawrence Cager has become a bit of a fan-favorite this summer after showing off his impressive jump-ball skills in practice.
The former Georgia receiver is an ideal red-zone threat as he uses his massive frame to the best of his ability. And he’s been as advertised in training camp.
Before going down with a knee injury, Cager was making the most of his expanded opportunity seemingly hauling in at least a touchdown or two per practice. Unfortunately, that knee injury halted what was an incredibly promising summer.
He’s now back in the fold after missing around a week, but there’s still no guarantee he makes the team. The Jets are getting healthier at receiver and you have to figure he’ll be fighting for that final wide receiver spot.
Perhaps the biggest thing working against him is his lack of special-teams experience. Cager has physical traits you look for in an NFL receiver, but his hands remain a work in progress and his physicality might not make up for his lack of ability elsewhere.
If Cager doesn’t make the team, he seems like a prime candidate for the practice squad.
But that won’t stop the immediate riot from fans when he’s inevitably waived.