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NY Jets: Idzik's Last Move

Will Quincy Enunwa emerge this year?

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Late December, 2014.  Before Rex Ryan was fired.  Before John Idzik was fired.  Before Geno pitched his perfect game.  John Idzik made a curious move immediately prior to the Jets' final game of the 2014 season.  He signed rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa off the practice squad and put him on the 53 man roster.  Enunwa did not play; he did not suit up.  Enunwa was not activated for that final game.  So why promote a guy for the final game and then not even activate him?

There is only one logical explanation for the move.  Immediately following a team's final game in any season, all of the players on the practice squad are released and become free agents.  In theory any of them could be signed by any other team to a futures contract, which essentially just ties these guys up until the start of the new league year.  In practice the vast majority of practice squad players are immediately re-signed to futures contracts by the team that just released them.  That's what happens most of the time, but not always.  Occasionally a practice squad player will be released and signed by another team.  So what does a team do at the end of the season if it has a practice squad player it really doesn't want to risk losing?  The team signs said player to the 53 man roster prior to the end of the season.  Any player on the 53 man roster at the end of the season remains under contract to the team, and is at no risk of being signed away by another team.

The obvious conclusion we reach concerning Enunwa is that John Idzik was especially keen on not risking Enunwa being signed by another team.  The Jets, like every NFL team, had ten players on the practice squad. In theory they could have signed all ten to the 53 man roster, but not without cutting ten guys already on the roster.  In practice the Jets found only one player on the practice squad they thought it necessary to protect from other teams' poaching: Quincy Enunwa.

Fast forward eight months.  Some reports coming out of Jets camp suggest Enunwa is having an impressive training camp.  A few have even suggested that he might compete for the third wide receiver spot on the team. It would be an interesting development.  Enunwa stands 6' 2" and 225 pounds.  Combine him with the 6' 3" Eric Decker, 6' 4" Brandon Marshall, 6' 5" Jeff Cumberland and 6' 6" Jace Amaro and you may be looking at the biggest set of targets in the NFL.  In theory that could create some interesting mismatches, especially against teams with smaller cornerbacks.

I have certainly not been a fan of John Idzik's tenure with the Jets.  I was not a fan of Enunwa when he was drafted.  Other than his obvious impressive measurables I really didn't see much that suggested he could develop into a decent NFL wide receiver.  Nobody would be happier if  Enunwa proved me thoroughly wrong. It certainly would be a nice grace note to Idzik's career if his last move turns out to be one of his best.