November 1, 2014. That was the date the Jets promoted quarterback Matt Simms to the active roster and demoted wide receiver Chris Owusu to the practice squad. On that date the Jets were 1-7 and the season for all practical purposes was over, coming off a 43-23 shellacking at the hands of the Bills. Since that date, exactly four weeks ago, the Jets have made zero transactions. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. The Big O. Nobody has been cut. Nobody has been signed. Nobody has been promoted from the practice squad. Nothing at all has happened on the Jets roster.
This complete inactivity for four weeks leads to the question, what the heck is general manager John Idzik thinking? The season is over; why not engage in some roster churn at the back end of the roster to see if you can't find one or two guys who might help going forward? Sure, you're not likely to find the next Jerry Rice, but what have you got to lose? Maybe the Jets could find one or two useful pieces to add. As just one example, why in the name of all that is Tebow is Walt Powell still on the active roster? His one and only role with this team was returning punts and kicks, a role that he has been replaced in by Percy Harvin and Jeremy Kerley, respectively. He was an undrafted free agent, meaning other teams are not exactly clamoring for his services. Even on a roster thin at wide receiver he has not been good enough to get any opportunity as a receiver, which begs the question, why is he still here? Why not cut him and sign him to the practice squad, taking the small risk he might be signed by another team? Why not promote somebody else, anybody else, who might actually have something to offer? Why not give Quincy Enunwa a long look? I'm no fan of Quincy, I don't think he'll ever amount to much, but we drafted him and kept him on the practice squad for a reason. With the season now lost and the Jets in position to hold some tryouts, why not see what this big bodied receiver has to offer? Or if they don't like Enunwa enoughwa, why not promote somebody else from the practice squad? Why not hold rolling tryouts for the rest of the year, trying to find a valuable piece or two?
Speaking of rolling tryouts, think about this. The Jets have the third worst record in the NFL. The Jets have the second worst point differential in the NFL. Clearly there is no shortage of teams with better 53 man rosters than the Jets. Does it not stand to reason that on many teams, their 54th, 55th and 56th best players (i.e., the best of their practice squad players) are better than the Jets corresponding players, or indeed better than the Jets' back of the 53 man roster players? Isn't it extremely likely that teams like the Seahawks, Packers, Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, etc., the really talented NFL teams, have players on their practice squad better than players on the Jets 53 man roster? If so, why aren't the Jets scouring the league's practice squads for signings that could prove to be fruitful 5 game tryouts with the team? Why not try out Lache Seastrunk off of Washington's practice squad? Chris Johnson shouldn't be here next year; Seastrunk might be a nice replacement. Why is John Idzik doing absolutely nothing with one of the worst rosters in football?
One small silver lining of a train wreck season, where the team is out of contention halfway through the season, is that it frees the front office to do a lot of experimenting and roster churning that might not otherwise be prudent, in an effort to discover a few underappreciated gems that might help the team going forward. Sadly, GM John Idzik has chosen this time to essentially go on vacation and rest from his roster building duties. He has taken the month of November off with respect to the roster. With one of the worst rosters in football, that is simply inexcusable.
I will leave you with some scouting tape of an UDFA I liked this past offseason, courtesy of the great scouting website, Draftbreakdown.com. His name is Bernard Reedy and he is an all purpose back/receiver/returner out of Toledo. At 5' 9", 180 pounds he's undersized but speedy and slippery. He might make a good return man to give us what Powell and Saunders didn't, and he might even make an interesting all purpose gadget player down the road. He's currently on Atlanta's practice squad. Take a look, see what you think. If you don't like him, no problem, he's just one example of the kind of guy who might make an interesting tryout, if the GM would just show some interest. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, if Idzik would just get off his backside and man the fishing boat.