The NY Jets made the somewhat surprising decision to release veteran safety Adrian Amos on Saturday. The move caught some off guard, and the timing of it is definitely strange, but it was clearly done in an effort to continue the youth movement within the organization down the stretch of the season.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Saturday morning that the Jets and Amos had agreed to mutually part ways. It's unclear at this time what exactly led to this, but it isn't hard to read between the lines.
The Jets have made a concerted effort to give the younger players on their roster more playing time in recent weeks. From Jeremy Ruckert to Israel Abanikanda to Jason Brownlee, the Jets have focused on their youth with their playoff hopes dwindling.
Amos is yet another veteran who found himself phased out of the team's plans, and releasing him allows him to sign on with a contender ahead of the postseason. It makes sense for both sides.
Why did the NY Jets release Adrian Amos?
Amos was signed by the Jets this spring as a pseudo-replacement for the injured Chuck Clark. The expectation was that Amos would start alongside Jordan Whitehead, but he lost his starting job to Tony Adams in the summer.
Amos appeared in 11 games for the Jets this season, playing 34 percent of the team's defensive snaps. However, he played seven or fewer snaps in six of the Jets' last seven games. His role had been dwindling for a while now.
Still, Amos impressed when on the field. His 72.7 Pro Football Focus grade ranks 20th among 88 qualified safeties. More notably, his elite 88.0 PFF run-defense grade is the fourth-best among 83 qualified players at his position.
You can very easily make the argument that Amos was the best safety on the Jets' roster, even if the team never saw him that way. While Jordan Whitehead and Tony Adams have each had their ups and downs this season, Amos was a steady and reliable presence on defense.
That said, his release makes sense for both sides. Amos is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, and it's unlikely the Jets would have looked to re-sign him. The Jets are intent on playing their young players down the stretch of the season.
Releasing Amos opens up an opportunity for rookie defensive back Jarrick Bernard-Converse to be active on game days moving forward. It could also provide an opportunity for undrafted rookie Trey Dean, who has been on the Jets' practice squad all season.
Amos wasn't playing a significant role in the Jets' defense (even if you could argue he should've been), and he wasn't going to be a part of the future. With that in mind, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
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