Backup defensive lineman Kareem Brown might be moving to the offensive side of the ball to serve as the new blocking tight end.
I unearthed a mildly interesting piece of information earlier today during our locker room period. The team may be converting defensive lineman/linebacker Kareem Brown to tight end. He is working with both units (double the meetings, double the fun) and is already down about 25 pounds from his weight of 290 last year. Brown is 6'4" tall and played at 315lbs in college. When I talked with him today he was about to go off and have a salad for lunch.
This move was out of a major necessity since with all of the focus on the quarterback situation it has gone almost unnoticed that the Jets have a grand total of...one tight end on the roster, last year's first-round pick, Dustin Keller. Two if you count James Dearth, but the team doesn't like to put their long snapper in jeopardy by playing him too much on offense.
Given the propensity for Brian Schottenheimer to run two and three tight-end sets - currently in vogue throughout the league - the Jets are clearly wanting at this position. And, given the upcoming three-day mini-camp next week, the team needed bodies in this position.
This seems like a pretty sound move at this point. Considering all the depth the Jets have brought in on the defensive line, Brown probably did not have a spot there. He has athletic ability and is accustomed to fighting in the trenches, which suggests he could be a good fit. He also played some tight end in high school so the position is familiar. Because of his athleticism, he probably has more upside than the typical blocking tight end on the open market.
With that said, releasing Chris Baker looks worse and worse. He was excellent for this role. $2 million is not a lot of money in the NFL. It represents between 1 and 2% of the salary cap. That is what the Jets saved with that move. That is the difference between a reliable player and a total project.