In a move stemming from their recent acquisitions in the draft, the New York Jets have waived 27-year old defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua and announced the signing of Long Snapper Derek Chard, as reported by Manish Mehta and later on by our very own Bob_the_Friendly_Baker. Pitoitua became expendable after Gang Green picked Quinton Coples in the first round of last week's draft, and appears to be the victim of a classic roster crunch. Depth on the defensive line is always a valuable commodity (especially on a Rex Ryan led unit), but this move probably indicates that the coaches felt that he wouldn't get enough burn in a rotation that now includes Coples, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sione Pouha, Marcus Dixon, Mike DeVito, and Kenrick Ellis (as well as the newly signed Jay Richardson and fringe roster hopefuls like Martin Tevaseu). The move also likely signals that the team expects to retain the services of Mike DeVito, whose status was a little uncertain following the draft. Derek Chard has been signed to compete with long snapper Tanner Purdum, with whom the Jets coaching staff was apparently "not happy" with. Chard is a former University of Connecticut player and attended the Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp last summer before getting cut. In what has been an offseason of generating "competition" at unstable positions, this move fits the theme perfectly.
Pitoitua has been one of my favorite "project players" since he arrived in New York. He has a massive 6' 8'' frame and has shown brief displays of talent indicitive of a future starter, but has never put it together completely. Ropati is young and will definitely catch on somewhere, so I wish him the best wherever he goes.