The NY Jets made a few moves at the back end of their roster over the last couple of days. First, they let down their guard, cutting backup guard Hayworth Hicks. You may recall Hicks was the UDFA rookie guard signed off the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad 3 weeks ago. Brought in for a look see, possibly on an extended tryout to replace one of the Jets free agent guards next year, Hicks was required by league rule to remain on the active roster for 3 weeks. The 3 weeks having expired, the Jets apparently did not see enough in him to keep him on the roster. They reportedly were interested in signing him to the practice squad if he cleared waivers; however, KC put in a waiver claim and Hicks is now on the Chiefs practice squad, his 3rd NFL spot this year. Apparently plenty of teams see some promise in the kid, just not enough to currently keep him on a 53 man roster.
The Jets then filled the vacant spot on the 53 man roster by signing Mardy Gilyard, a 6' 190 lb WR out of Cincinnatti. Gilyard was the 1st pick in the 4th rd of the 2010 draft, taken by the St. Louis Rams. Somewhat undersized and lacking breakaway speed (4.6 40 time), Gilyard has done little in the NFL. He did spend a week with the Jets in 2011. This signing is a bit surprising, as they reportedly worked out Preston Parker at the same time as Gilyard. Parker is a WR with virtually identical height , weight and speed as Gilyard, who came out of the same 2010 draft class, but who has a much more distinguished pro resume. Parker caught 40 passes for 554 yards and 3 TDs for the TB Bucs in 2011, but became expendable when the Bucs signed Vincent Jackson. At times last year Parker was the best WR on the field for TB. He also was useful on special teams, returning punts and kickoffs for the Bucs. Choosing Gilyard over Parker is a curious move by the Jets.
The Jets also filled 2 vacant spots on their practice squad, re-signing OT Dennis Landoldt, whom they cut from the practice squad on October 30, and signing WR Eddie McGee. McGee is a 6' 3" 210 lb WR with 4.5 speed out of Illinois University, a 2011 UDFA. What is interesting about McGee is that he played mostly QB in college, splitting time with the starter, with modest career totals of 58 for 111 passing for 806 yds, 3 TDs and 6 INTs. He also had 94 career carries for 374 yds and 4 TDs. Finally, he played sparingly at WR in his senior year, notching 8 catches for 62 yards and 0 TDs. Given his height, weight and speed and his college resume, as a WR McGee appears to resemble a poor man's Brad Smith. Extremely raw as a WR, but with pretty good speed, and a limited ability to throw the football, he appears to be a pretty good fit as a future candidate to run the Jets wildcard offense and occasionally fill in as a WR and KR, ala Smith. It is a very interesting signing. Given the Jets reluctance to use Tebow in more than a token role this season, it is possible this guy is getting a tryout to run the future Jets wildcat. If so, this may be the first tangible signal that the Jets are looking to trade or cut Tebow in the offseason, and his days in the Green and White just may be coming to an end. Members of Tebow Nation, rejoice! Your time of deliverance may soon be at hand.