The NY Jets should consider placing a waiver claim on these three recently-released players.
The NY Jets have officially made their cuts to trim the roster down to 53 players. As always, there were a few surprises in there, but otherwise, it was a pretty ordinary cutdown day in the midst of an offseason that has been anything but ordinary.
And now that the dust has settled, the real fun can begin.
Cutting players is always one of the more difficult parts of an offseason, but the process of adding players from the waiver wire directly after that can sometimes be the most rewarding.
This year a number of very solid players found their way on to the waiver wire for a variety of reasons. Some were victims of poor situations, some ran into injury trouble, while others simply failed to perform.
But as the old proverb goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” And the Jets will certainly be searching for some treasure hidden amongst the hundreds of players released this weekend.
Perhaps that treasure comes in the form of a wide receiver. We all know the Jets could use some extra depth at that position. Maybe the team opts to add another cornerback with only five healthy players on the roster.
It’s difficult to project exactly which players the Jets will target. But let’s take a look at three players the Jets should consider placing a waiver claim on.
Next: 3. Shaquem Griffin
3. The NY Jets should place a waiver claim on Shaquem Griffin
Shaquem Griffin is one of the most inspiring stories in the NFL. His journey has been well-documented to this point and it seemed like a match made in football heaven when he was teamed up with his twin brother in Seattle.
Unfortunately, that state of heaven didn’t last for long as the Seahawks opted to cut Griffin on Saturday after just two seasons with the team. However, he should have a long list of suitors vying for his services.
Perhaps the Jets could be one of them.
A fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Griffin never found a true home with Seattle. He played in all 32 games with the team serving as a consistent presence on special teams, but his role was left undefined on defense.
Was he an off-ball linebacker? Was he an edge-rusher? A little bit of both? The Seahawks never really came to a conclusion and ultimately he never saw consistent playing time on defense.
The selection of Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft likely sealed his fate.
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But it’s fun to theorize about how someone like Gregg Williams could maximize Griffin’s skill set.
The former UCF star is an athletic freak having run an unreal 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine — the fastest time for a linebacker in more than a decade.
And he could fit right in as a hybrid linebacker/edge rusher in Gregg Williams’ defense serving as an occasional pass-rusher and someone who wouldn’t be a liability in coverage on third down.
Given the lack of depth at that spot, Griffin is well worth a waiver claim.
Next: 2. Hakeem Butler
2. The NY Jets should place a waiver claim on Hakeem Butler
This release technically broke on Friday so the Jets might have less time to place a waiver claim. Nonetheless, Hakeem Butler is certainly a player worth looking into.
A favorite of many in the draft community, Butler was taken in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals back in the 2019 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, a broken hand would force him to miss all of his rookie season.
And upon returning in 2020, the Cardinals had added a bunch of new players to their receiving corps really never giving Butler a fair shot. Perhaps some of it was his lack of development as well.
But from a physical standpoint, there’s a lot to like about Butler.
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at nearly 230 pounds, Butler is a contested-catch monster who can physically overpower pretty much any defensive back in the game. On top of that, he ran an incredibly fast 4.48 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Few receivers to enter the NFL in recent memory are as gifted as Butler, but he still remains very raw as a prospect. Drops have been an issue and he’s struggled to grasp the mental aspect of playing receiver in the NFL.
These are things that can be coached and given the barren state of the Jets’ wide receiver position, it’s more than worth taking a flier on a player like Hakeem Butler.
Next: 1. Sidney Jones
1. The NY Jets should place a waiver claim on Sidney Jones
In the months leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, Washington cornerback Sidney Jones seemed like a surefire first-round pick with many predicting that he would be the first cornerback off the board come draft day.
That all changed when the two-time first-team All-Pac 12 selection tore his Achilles at his pro day. That injury caused him to drop all the way to pick No. 43 in the second round where he was promptly scooped up by the Philadelphia Eagles.
One of the main people in charge of the Eagles’ draft at the time? None other than current Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas.
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Unfortunately, Jones never found his footing in Philadelphia mostly due to various injuries including the Achilles that caused him to miss essentially all of his rookie season.
A hamstring injury caused him to miss seven games in 2018 while that same injury forced him to the sidelines for four games in 2019. And after a while, the Eagles simply decided it was time to cut their losses and move on.
Jones was a talented press-man corner in college — a perfect fit for Gregg Williams’ scheme. Some of his technical flaws have been exposed in the NFL and he’s a little slim, but Jones still has the talent he once showed at Washington.
He hasn’t been able to realize his full potential in the NFL, but perhaps that could change with a Jets team that only has five healthy cornerbacks on the roster right now.
The Douglas connection could be enough to seal the deal.