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NY Jets: Time To Move On

NFL: New York Jets at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 New York Jets are clearly in the middle of a major roster purge and rebuild project. This team does not have the talent to compete for a playoff spot, and the front office has responded by cutting a large number of veterans in favor of a youth movement. Given that state of affairs, there are still a few players on this team for which it may be time to move on.

Steve McLendon

The big nose tackle has done what he’s asked to do and he’s done it pretty well. But McLendon will be 32 years old by the end of this season. It’s clear he has no place in the Jets’ future plans. Given that the Jets have a couple of younger nose tackles on the roster with NFL experience in Deon Simon and Mike Pennel, it is surprising McLendon remains on the Jets’ roster, particularly after factoring in the more than $1 million in cap savings cutting him would create. This is by no means a knock on McLendon; he’s done reasonably well here and the Jets staff clearly believes he’s the best option at nose tackle. However, in a major rebuilding project, it’s difficult to understand hanging onto a soon to be 32 year old nose tackle with younger competent replacements on the roster. Even McLendon might favor his release, as he has no chance of playing any more meaningful games for the Jets, while it’s possible he could latch on for one final run at a ring with a contender. It seems like now is the right time to move on from McLendon

Julian Stanford

By most accounts Julian Stanford has had a great camp this year. He had a great camp last year. When Stanford finally got a chance to play in regular season games he had one good game and the rest of the year he looked like he did not belong on the field. Stanford is not that young anymore. He entered the league in 2012 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he will turn 27 years old in a few weeks. At this point he is likely all that he will ever be, and that doesn’t look like an NFL linebacker. The Jets have a better, albeit older, backup linebacker in Bruce Carter, who can hold the fort. Stanford’s spot should be filled by somebody like Connor Harris, who, while he may not be quite as good right now, is only 24 years old and still has upside. If Stanford was a better player or a younger player he might be worth developing. As it is he is a marginal backup with no upside. It is difficult to see how he fits in a rebuilding project. Time to move on.

Buster Skrine

The argument for retaining Skrine while cutting or trading every other starting defensive back this year was that Skrine was the only viable option on the roster to fill the slot cornerback role. With Dexter McDougle having an excellent camp and finally developing into something resembling the player the Jets thought they were drafting in 2014, that argument has lost some of its force. McDougle will be a free agent in 2018. Now would be a good time, in a lost rebuilding year, for an extended tryout to find out if he is worth re-signing. Skrine will turn 29 next April. Cutting him saves the Jets more than $5 million in net cap space. There is no better time than now to move on from Buster Skrine.

Rontez Miles

This one will no doubt be controversial. Miles has been a fan favorite since the Jets first signed him to their practice squad in 2013. But that 2013 date should clue you in on a surprising fact about Miles. Miles is no longer young, and he is no longer a prospect. Rontez Miles will turn 29 in November. At this stage of his career, entering his fifth NFL season, Miles has no upside. He is what he is, a nice backup safety, but it is difficult to see him playing much of a role for the Jets going forward. The Jets currently are extremely thin at safety, so there aren’t a lot of replacement options on the roster. However, next year Jeremy Clark will presumably be healthy, Doug Middleton will presumably be back, and another year’s class of draft picks and UDFAs will be in camp. The Jets should be on the lookout for younger safeties with more upside when final cuts are made on September 2nd. If they see one they like it might be the right time to pick the younger option up and move on from Rontez Miles.

What do you think? Who should the Jets be moving on from when September 2nd cuts roll around?