The New York Jets have released outside linebacker Antwan Barnes and signed tight end Chris Pantale from the practice squad. With Jace Amaro out for tonight's game the Jets were down to two tight ends. Pantale makes it three, and he may see action if the Jets want to give him a long look before the end of the season.
Pantale, a 24 year old, 6' 5", 254 pound tight end, was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013 after graduating from Boston College. He was first promoted to the Jets active roster almost exactly a year ago, on November 27, 2013. He has spent most of his time on the practice squad, and has never seen regular season action in the NFL.
Barnes, a speedy 30 year old, 6" 1", 240 pound outside linebacker and pass rush specialist, was one of GM John Idzik's first free agent signings. After getting off to a decent start with the Jets in 2013, notching two sacks in five games, Barnes suffered a season ending knee injury. His recovery from surgery was slower than expected, and he did not return to the Jets lineup until October 16, 2014, slightly more than a year after he suffered his knee injury. Upon his return Barnes made little impact, registering zero sacks and six tackles over the last five games. At age 30 and with his speed somewhat compromised, Barnes faces an uncertain future in the NFL.
The release of Barnes sets the stage for Trevor Reilly and Ikemefuna Enemkpali to get extended looks at outside linebacker as the Jets enter the rookie tryouts stage of the season.