Let's just say that Tuesday was not a particularly good day for NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas. Hours after agreeing to mutually part ways with running back Dalvin Cook, the Jets announced that they had released veteran offensive lineman Rodger Saffold from their practice squad.
Saffold was signed by the Jets in late October after the team opted not to make a move for an offensive lineman at the trade deadline. While he was signed to the practice squad, Saffold wasn't your typical roster filler.
The Jets hoped and expected Saffold to go through a ramp-up period on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster in the near future. He was supposed to be the mid-season offensive line addition to bolster the depth of the injury-riddled unit.
Instead, he never played. The Jets signed three different players off other teams' practice squads to start at right guard, all while their midseason acquisition might as well have not existed.
Sure, it was just a practice squad signing. There are no real financial ramifications for the move not working out. But Saffold's release highlights yet another Douglas failure in what was a disastrous year for the Jets GM.
Rodger Saffold is the latest Joe Douglas addition to fail with the NY Jets
The Jets have dealt with an unprecedented string of poor injury luck at the offensive line position this season. While Douglas deserves his share of the blame for how he handled the offensive tackles going into the season, no NFL team should have been expected to survive the number of injuries the Jets have dealt with.
That being said, Douglas and the Jets had ample opportunities to address the position midseason. They could have sent a measly sixth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for young starting guard Ezra Cleveland, who has helped solidify the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive line since being acquired in a trade at the deadline.
Instead, Douglas chose Saffold. Again, the expectation was that the former Pro Bowl guard would be elevated to the active roster soon after he was signed. He was signed to the practice squad to give him some time to get in football shape ahead of his 2023 debut.
For whatever reason, that never happened. Perhaps the Jets never felt Saffold was ready for live game action. Perhaps he was simply outperformed by the likes of Xavier Newman, Jake Hanson, and Chris Glaser, who were all given opportunities over the 13-year NFL veteran.
Whatever the case, it's a bad look for Douglas and the Jets.
From Dalvin Cook to Allen Lazard to the backup quarterback position to everything the team did at wide receiver, the 2023 offseason was an unbridled disaster for Douglas. The saving grace (if you want to call it that) has been the Aaron Rodgers trade, although it remains to be seen if that will yield better results.
The Rodger Saffold release might not seem like a big deal in a vacuum, but it's representative of Douglas' roster-building failures this season. The Jets need him to do better in 2024.