NY Jets: La'Mical Perine faces a uphill battle this summer

NY Jets, La'Mical Perine
NY Jets, La'Mical Perine / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets will have a new-look backfield in 2021 following the offseason additions of Tevin Coleman and Michael Carter. But one player just looking to hold on to a roster spot is La'Mical Perine.

A fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Perine worked his way into the backfield rotation in his rookie season, but didn't make the impact many fans hoped he would.

Now, just one offseason after he was drafted, Perine finds himself on the roster bubble as opposed to the team's offensive plans.

It's still far from a guarantee that he's a victim of final roster cuts, but Perine will need a strong summer to not only claim a roster spot but to hopefully re-establish a role in the offense.

La'Mical Perine will try to crack the NY Jets running back rotation this summer.

When the Jets released Le'Veon Bell early last season, the hope was that Perine would soon emerge as the team's lead back. After all, it wasn't as if his competition was particularly fierce.

37-year-old Frank Gore was clearly on his last legs and many wanted the Jets to get Perine more involved in the offensive game plan. The former Florida standout did eventually see some snaps, but he failed to do much of anything with them.

Perine finished his rookie season with 232 yards on 64 carries for a very poor 3.6 yards per carry rate. It was among the lowest in the NFL and about on par with Gore's production.

His ineffectiveness wasn't solely the fault of his lackluster supporting cast either.

The Jets did see a young running back step up late in the season, but it wasn't Perine. Instead, waiver claim Ty Johnson emerged as the Jets' most efficient running back finishing the year with more yards than Perine on fewer carries, averaging an excellent 4.7 yards per carry.

It wasn't just Johnson either as veteran Josh Adams even found some success running the ball averaging 5.4 yards per carry in a small sample size. Perine was outshined by his teammates, and he won't be guaranteed anything going into 2021.

While he does find himself ahead of Adams on the depth chart, Perine was the clear-cut No. 4 running back this spring. Carter, Coleman, and Johnson received the majority of first-team reps in OTAs and minicamp with Perine only being sprinkled in occasionally.

It's no lock that the Jets even carry four running backs meaning that Perine is not only fighting for playing time but his job security this summer.

His lack of explosiveness and outside speed makes him a questionable fit in new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's scheme, especially when compared to his teammates.

Perine was hindered by a nagging ankle injury last season which likely didn't help his cause. But that doesn't change the fact that he'll need a strong summer to solidify a role with the team.

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The Jets won't hesitate to cut ties with La'Mical Perine if he doesn't look the part. Few players have more to lose (or gain) this summer than Perine.