NY Jets release 'Hard Knocks' fan favorite from practice squad

The Jets have released Tanzel Smart
NY Jets, Tanzel Smart
NY Jets, Tanzel Smart / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

After almost four years with the NY Jets, it seems as though Tanzel Smart's time with the organization might be coming to an end. The fan favorite and "Hard Knocks" legend was released from the team's practice squad on Wednesday.

The Jets announced on Wednesday that they have signed wide receiver Irvin Charles to their practice squad and, in a corresponding move, they had released Smart.

Smart was released as part of final roster cuts last month but re-signed to the practice squad shortly after. That's where he's spent the majority of his four seasons with the organization.

Charles made the Jets' initial 53-man roster but was waived after the Jets promoted quarterback Tim Boyle to the active roster. Boyle essentially takes the place of the injured Aaron Rodgers, but with Brandin Echols returning from suspension, the Jets needed to make one more roster move.

That move was cutting Charles and moving him to the practice squad. That leaves Smart as the odd man out on the practice squad.

Tanzel Smart's NY Jets career might not be over

The good news for fans of the "Hard Knocks" legend is that Smart's Jets career might not be over. In the ever-changing world of NFL roster gymnastics, transactions are rarely final. A lot of times moves like this are just temporary.

This could be the case with Smart. The Jets are currently using one of their practice squad spots on kicker Austin Seibert, who filled in for the injured Greg Zuerlein on Sunday. Once Zuerlein is healthy, the Jets won't need to use a spot on Seibert.

It's possible the Jets simply released Smart as part of a handshake deal, with the understanding that he would be brought back once Zuerlein is healthy. Jets head coach Robert Saleh said earlier this week that they would know more about Zuerlein's status on Friday.

Smart was originally signed to the Jets' practice squad in October of 2020. He's more or less been with the Jets' organization since then, spending the majority of his time on the practice squad. He's appeared in six games with the Jets, including three last season.

The Jets are saying goodbye to their beloved "Hard Knocks" king, but we can only hope this goodbye is temporary.