The NY Jets had high hopes for veteran defensive back Lamarcus Joyner when they signed him last offseason. The hope was that Joyner could have somewhat of a career resurgence after two very difficult seasons with the Raiders.
Unfortunately, we never really got the opportunity to see what he could do as Joyner tore his triceps just nine snaps into his Jets career and was soon ruled out for the season.
The Jets opted to bring him back in the offseason and he's currently penciled in as one of the team's starting safeties. Even after another year away, the Jets remain optimistic about Joyner's potential this season.
In fact, they legitimately believe he "can be one of the league’s better free safeties," as told by The Athletic's Connor Hughes. Hughes went on to say that the Jets "love" Joyner and believe he can return to form under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich.
All of that remains to be seen, but the Jets sure are high on Joyner going into the 2022 season.
The NY Jets have high hopes for Lamarcus Joyner in 2022
A second-round pick of the then St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft, Joyner spent the first five years of his career with the Rams, during which he developed into one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
The former Florida State star enjoyed the best year of his career in 2017 when he was ranked as the No. 2 safety in all of football by Pro Football Focus. He followed that up with another strong season in 2018 when he finished with a rock-solid PFF grade of 73.1.
Joyner was able to parlay that success into a four-year, $42 million contract with the Raiders the following offseason, although he fell well short of expectations with his new team.
The Raiders opted to move Joyner to a full-time nickel cornerback role and he struggled mightily. After just two seasons, the Raiders cut bait and Joyner was again a free agent.
The Jets signed Joyner with the hope that they could unlock the potential he once showed with the Rams. While his first season in green and white was a dud, they still believe in his ceiling going into the 2022 season.
While Joyner is the odds-on favorite to start opposite Jordan Whitehead, he will have to fend off youngsters such as Jason Pinnock and Ashtyn Davis this summer.
The Jets are hoping that their secondary will show vast improvements in 2022, and Lamarcus Joyner should be a big part of that.