NY Jets predicted to cut Lamarcus Joyner in 53-man roster projection

NY Jets, Lamarcus Joyner
NY Jets, Lamarcus Joyner / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The NY Jets signed Lamarcus Joyner in the 2021 offseason with the hope that he could return to his former glory in Robert Saleh's defense.

The plan was to move Joyner, who had struggled mightily as a nickel cornerback with the Las Vegas Raiders over the last two seasons, back to his natural free safety position. There was optimism that Joyner would become a key part of the Jets' defense in 2021.

Unfortunately, Joyner tore his triceps just a few plays into his Jets career, rendering him out for the season. The Jets opted to bring him back this offseason and the assumption is that he will once again be penciled in as a starting safety.

However, some don't believe that to be the case. In fact, it's even been suggested that he might not make the final roster.

Robby Sabo of Jets X Factor recently published his early 53-man roster projection, and perhaps the most surprising cut he decided to make was Joyner.

"The final spot will likely come down to Joyner and Riley, and although the former is much more talented than the latter, age and the overall feel of this roster suggests Riley will get the nod. Plus, Joyner isn’t the most dependable player at this stage of his career. He must first prove he can stay healthy."

Robby Sabo

Would the NY Jets really consider cutting Lamarcus Joyner?

Sabo has the Jets keeping four safeties: Jordan Whitehead, Jason Pinnock, Ashtyn Davis, and Elijah Riley. Pinnock and Davis were two notable standouts from the spring and could figure into the starting lineup with Joyner out of the equation.

As for Riley, the Long Island native impressed late last season and has his fair share of fans at Florham Park. As Sabo notes, Riley "brings intangibles to the table that Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich admire."

Cutting ties with him wouldn't be an easy decision. That's partially why Joyner, who has dealt with injuries, could find himself on the roster bubble.

Of course, cutting Joyner would indicate that the Jets are comfortable with the young trio of Pinnock, Davis, and even Riley stepping into bigger roles. A strong summer from each of them could be enough to convince the Jets to make this bold move.

There is one issue, however. Joyner's $2.1 million salary in 2022 is basically fully guaranteed. The Jets would be paying the same amount of money to release Joyner that they would to have him on the roster.

That's a potential obstacle that could interfere with Sabo's prediction, especially given Joe Douglas' noted disdain for dead cap space.

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Still, it's fair to suggest that Lamarcus Joyner's roster spot isn't a lock, even if there's still a good chance that he's the Jets' Week 1 starting free safety.