Quinton Coples was never a fit for the Jets, whether it was under Rex Ryan or Todd Bowles, and now he'll be looking for a new home. The Jets cut their 1st round draft choice from 2012 after running out of patience with the former North Carolina star. He was expected to come in and wreak havoc, unfortunately it never happened, despite him recording a career high 6.5 sacks just last year.
So far this year Coples has recorded 8 tackles with 0 sacks and a single fumble recovery. He was limited to a season low 5 snaps on Sunday in the Jets loss to Houston, and his time with the team was always coming to an end.
The Jets will save a considerable amount of money by cutting Coples now ($7.8 million in 2016), however I feel as though he would have garnered some trade consideration, had the decision been made to move on from him earlier. With it being past the trade deadline, the Jets decided to move on by cutting Coples, which was really their only choice.
Coples came into the league with a good collegiate reputation. A big powerful athletic defensive lineman who was excellent against the run and a nuisance to opposing QB's. A big man with good feet, the power to overcome blockers and play as both a defensive end in the 3-4 and the 4-3.
Unfortunately it never really happened for Coples. Although he has put up decent sack numbers each year, with 5.5, 4.5 and 6.5 over the last three years. The Jets have mainly been playing him as a 3-4 OLB, although he did come down to the line a lot and his coverage responsibilities were limited. However he just couldn't settle.
He was playing down on the line, then standing up, then jamming receivers on the outside. I'm not sticking up for Coples here, but this is no Vernon Gholston we're talking about, he did have talent.
Personally, I don't think Quinton will ever fulfill his potential until he's allowed to play as a 4-3 defensive tackle, 100% of the time. Maybe some 4-3 defensive end in there, but his hand in the dirt, doing what he did in college. Which was to plug gaps, stop the run and get after the QB when he could.
The problem with Coples has always been his motor and his desire. It was questioned in Carolina, and it's been questioned here in New York. People call him lazy, and I can see why. However personally I just see it as a combination of a player who didn't want to play in a position he knew didn't suit his skill set. I'm not saying that's a good attitude to have, it's a horrible attitude if that was the case.
He just wasn't right for the Jets, it's as simple as that. Some players don't fit into a system. Rex Ryan tried to make him fit, but he never lived up to the hype or the draft status. Todd Bowles hasn't tried to force him into a situation which will ultimately hurt the team.
Coples will get picked up and he'll get picked up quickly. If I'm the Raiders, I'm probably making a call on that waiver wire. Same if I'm the Lions or the Saints. There are a number of teams who could do with someone in the middle, playing the box and stopping the run. I scouted Coples quite heavily in college and it was clear that 4-3 defensive tackle was where he was the most use.
I'm not saying he's going to be a star, but if you plug him in as a three technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense, I think he'll have some success.