5 early overreactions to NY Jets spring workouts

It's never too early to overreact
Malachi Corley
Malachi Corley / Luke Hales/GettyImages

The NY Jets completed the spring portion of their offseason program earlier this month, of course, not without the prerequisite drama that tends to follow the organization. After all, June is the time for overreactions.

Aaron Rodgers' "unexcused" minicamp absence caused quite a stir around the NFL media, even if it will have no bearing on the Jets' success (or lack thereof) in 2024. A similar sentiment can be shared about star pass rusher Haason Reddick.

The overreactions didn't just come from the off-field stuff, either. It's very easy to react disproportionately when there isn't much else going on in the world of football.

We're going to take a look at some of the most notable overreactions from the Jets' 2024 spring workouts. Let's start with one of the team's most impressive rookie standouts from the spring.

5. Qwan'tez Stiggers looks like a future starter for the NY Jets

It's never wise to put too much stock into a player's performance during spring practices, but fifth-round rookie Qwan'tez Stiggers is a unique case. We're talking about someone who didn't play college football and two years ago was played in a semi-pro football league.

The Jets simply wanted to see if Stiggers could hold up against a much steeper level of competition this spring, and by all accounts, he passed that test with flying colors.

Stiggers was one of the Jets' most impressive standouts from OTAs and minicamp, so much so that many have already been quick to label the 22-year-old as a future starter. However, it's important not to get ahead of ourselves.

It's one thing for Stiggers to impress in spring workouts without pads, but training camp and the preseason are completely different environments. Jets fans should be excited about Stiggers' strong spring, but it's always best to keep perspective. It's still very early.

4. Israel Abanikanda won't make the 53-man roster

One player who has already been written off by the majority of Jets fans is 2023 fifth-round pick Israel Abanikanda. There's no denying that Abanikanda will be fighting an uphill battle this summer.

The former Pittsburgh standout worked behind rookies Braelon Allen and Isaiah Davis this spring and didn't do much of anything to impress. Combine that with the Jets' schematic shift on offense and many believe Abanikanda is destined to be cut this summer.

But there's still time for Abanikanda to carve out a role. Despite Allen's impressive spring, the Jets aren't going to hand a mid-round rookie the RB2 job until he proves he can perform at the same level once pads come on.

Abanikanda still has every opportunity to not only make the 53-man roster but earn the RB2 role with a strong summer. Let's not write him off just yet.

3. Haason Reddick is a problem for the NY Jets

The Haason Reddick situation was understandably one of the most notable storylines coming out of Jets minicamp. The Jets were reportedly under the assumption that Reddick would attend all voluntary and mandatory events this offseason but plans clearly changed.

Reports suggest Reddick, who is entering the final year of his contract with no guaranteed money remaining, is looking for a new deal. The two sides have yet to agree on a contract, and some are worried that this distraction could carry over into the summer.

That said, it remains unlikely that Reddick's holdout will extend into training camp for reasons explained in this article. Reddick would be fined $50,000 per missed day, and it doesn't benefit either side to have him sitting on the sidelines any longer.

While this is indeed a story, it's not one that should have much of an effect on the Jets' season. The Reddick situation should not be viewed as a problem for the Jets.

2. Aaron Rodgers hasn't lost a step

Let's ignore the nonsense of the Aaron Rodgers minicamp saga and strictly discuss what the four-time MVP did during voluntary OTAs this spring. By all accounts, Rodgers looked every part of the superstar quarterback the Jets hope he still is.

Rodgers made all the throws, confidently led the first-team offense, and didn't show any noticeable ailments from the Achilles injury he suffered back in September. He looked like hadn't lost a step.

But it's hard to take much away from spring practices. The issue with Rodgers was never going to be his arm talent or his football IQ. There are still genuine concerns about his range of mobility coming off that Achilles injury.

There's no way to truly know how much Rodgers still has left in the tank until he steps foot on the field in a game and takes his first hit. Rodgers looked the part this spring, but it's too early to say he's back.

1. Malachi Corley's slow start

Jets fans were waiting eagerly for reports coming out of OTAs and minicamp to suggest rookie wide receiver Malachi Corley was lighting it up on the practice field, but those reports never came.

Corley missed time during OTAs with a minor injury and didn't do much to stand out. Instead, second-year wideout Xavier Gipson emerged as one of the team's spring stars and looks to have an early edge in the slot receiver competition.

It can be easy to overreact to Corley's slow spring, but there's no reason for Jets fans to be alarmed. Corley's skill set is much more tailored to practices with pads and in-game action where he'll be able to showcase his dynamic YAC ability. Padless spring practices aren't really the place for that.

It's also very common for rookies to begin the spring lower on the depth chart. Corley will have ample opportunities this summer to prove he deserves a role in the Jets' offense. There's no reason to be down on the rookie wideout entering training camp.