NY Jets news: Chris Herndon not working with the starters in minicamp

NY Jets, Chris Herndon
NY Jets, Chris Herndon / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets kicked off their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. Unfortunately, one notable name found himself plummeting down the depth chart. That player was tight end Chris Herndon.

After working almost exclusively with the first-team offense during OTAs, Herndon primarily worked with the second-team unit on Tuesday with the likes of Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin both seemingly ahead of him on the depth chart.

Even undrafted rookie Kenny Yeboah worked a little bit with the first-team offense. But for Herndon, he was mostly relegated to second-team work only getting a few reps with the starters.

Given his struggles last season and into this spring, this shouldn't come as a major surprise. But it is noteworthy, nonetheless.

The NY Jets might be sending a message to Chris Herndon.

A fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Herndon showed promise as a rookie finishing with 39 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns pacing all rookie tight ends in both catches and touchdowns.

Unfortunately, his 2019 season was essentially completely wiped out due to a suspension and multiple injuries. He returned in 2020 looking to pick up where he left off in his rookie year, only to somehow put together an even worse season.

Herndon didn't play in 2019, and yet his 2020 was still worse by comparison.

The former Miami star was a nonfactor all season recording just 31 catches for 287 yards despite starting the entire year. He finished with two catches or fewer in a whopping 11 of 16 games, including five games with no stats whatsoever.

Herndon had as many games with more than two catches as he did with no catches.

Be it a mental funk or whatever, Herndon was a mess last season, but the new coaching staff believed in his talent enough not to make acquiring a new starting tight end this offseason a priority — although they did dabble in Jonnu Smith's market.

Herndon has done very little to separate himself from the pack this spring and has fallen victim to the drop bug once again. Meanwhile, Griffin has put together a solid spring and looks fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered at the end of the 2019 season.

The Jets appear to be higher on Kroft and Griffin right now than they are Herndon. And that was evident with their elevation on the depth chart while the latter continues to plummet.

Perhaps the Jets are just sending a message to Herndon in hopes that he can snap out of whatever multi-year funk he's in. Or perhaps his role in the offense is slowly diminishing before our very eyes.

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Either way, something needs to change soon or Chris Herndon won't be long for New York.