NY Jets: 5 players with the most to prove in 2021 training camp

NY Jets, La'Mical Perine
NY Jets, La'Mical Perine / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Blake Cashman
NY Jets, Blake Cashman / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

4. Blake Cashman, LB, NY Jets

The top priority for Blake Cashman this summer should be to stay on the field, first and foremost. The oft-injured linebacker has missed 21 of a possible 32 games since entering the league as a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, both times that he's gotten injured have resulted in squandered starting opportunities.

Cashman received the chance to start in his rookie season following a litany of injuries at the linebacker position, but he landed on the injured reserve after just five starts.

And in 2020, it's easy to forget that Cashman was actually the Jets Week 1 starter at linebacker opposite Neville Hewitt (ahead of Avery Williamson) before he suffered a groin injury just three plays into the season.

He would later return, play exclusively on special teams, and land back on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

The Jets went out and drafted both Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen in the 2021 NFL Draft with the expectation that each of them will play the WILL linebacker position.

Cashman remains as the de facto starter at the position, but that might not last for long.

Nasirildeen was the player receiving all the first-team reps at WILL during spring practices as Cashman sat out with, you guessed it, another injury.

Cashman needs to prove that he can not only stay healthy, but that he could beat out Nasirildeen and Sherwood for the starting job. If not, his future in New York looks murky at best.