When the NY Jets released running back Michael Carter in November, they did so partially to give their former draft pick a chance to latch on with a new team. It was about giving Carter, who had fallen out of favor with the Jets' coaching staff, a new opportunity.
Carter's new opportunity came in the form of the Arizona Cardinals, who claimed the former North Carolina standout off waivers following his release. He's taken full advantage of that opportunity to this point.
In five games with the Cardinals, Carter is averaging a stellar 7.3 yards per carry. He's rushed for 132 yards on 18 attempts while also adding an additional eight catches for 31 yards and a touchdown in the air.
Carter has served as a perfect complement to James Conner, and he made some headlines on Sunday following a nasty juke move he put on Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Eli Ricks.
Did the NY Jets make a mistake releasing Michael Carter?
It's easy to point to Carter's success in Arizona and fault the Jets for letting him go, but it's fair to note that Carter struggled mightily with the Jets over the last two seasons.
Following a promising rookie campaign, Carter looked to be a future building block of the organization. Even when the Jets added Breece Hall in the 2022 NFL Draft, most still expected Carter to play a sizable role in the team's offense.
That changed following a disastrous 2022 season that saw Carter finish with an abysmal 3.5 yards per carry. The addition of Dalvin Cook in the 2023 offseason relegated Carter to a third-down back role, and he struggled even more as a result.
Carter ranked as one of the worst pass-blocking running backs in the NFL, struggled with drops, and was inefficient with his touches. It didn't come as much of a surprise when the Jets moved on, seemingly to give rookie Israel Abanikanda an opportunity.
While Abanikanda didn't really find a role until recently, the Jets haven't exactly missed Carter. Hall is playing some of the best football of his career, ranking top-five in scrimmage yards this season.
It's nice to see a well-liked player like Carter succeed with his new team, but any talk of the Jets making a mistake by letting him go is little more than revisionist history.