Note from John: If you are a Jets fan, there is probably a good chance you are familiar with the great Bent who has been a fixture on The Jets Blog for years and more recently started his own site, Jets Fix. It is with great pleasure that I tell you Bent is GGN’s newest contributor. His first article here is posted below.
What’s done cannot be undone. However, there’s value in keeping close tabs on players once they’ve left the team. In fact, the most recent addition to the current roster - offensive lineman Alex Balducci - was released by the Jets last September, since which time he’s had a year on Washington’s practice squad and several months on their 90-man roster via a futures deal. This isn’t unique; many other players such as Braylon Edwards and Demario Davis have left the Jets and then returned to the team later on over the last several years.
There’s also intrigue in terms of whether they might let someone with potential loose, only for them to flourish elsewhere. Defensive linemen Kerry Hyder, Jacquies Smith and Shelby Harris are good examples of this. Over the past three seasons, each of those has had at least one season with 5.5 sacks or more - a total that would have led the Jets in 2017.
On the other end of the scale, while we may wish players like Davis or Austin Seferian-Jenkins well on their way out of the door, there’s a lingering hope that they won’t do so well that we’re left regretting their departure. Finally, there may be cases where we are rooting for the player to fail, especially if they’ve joined a rival.
We’re going to be keeping track of anyone who has been on the Jets’ roster or practice squad since cutdown day last season so we can start to assess whether letting any of these players go was a mistake or a well-timed move.
With the first round of preseason games in the books, let’s recap how each player that meets the above criteria fared in the first week, starting with the highest profile players and working our way down the list:
Muhammad Wilkerson - DL, Packers
Wilkerson did not play in the Packers’ first preseason game. He is reportedly dealing with a minor groin injury but reports about his camp performance so far have mostly been positive and he returned to practice on Sunday.
Demario Davis - LB, Saints
Davis started and saw some significant playing time in the Saints’ first preseason game. He made two tackles, including one run stop, and was credited with a pass defensed. It was reported that he wasn’t a lock to start, but that seems to be based on some standard training camp mixing-and-matching leading others to get first team reps.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - TE, Jaguars
Seferian-Jenkins started and was in the game for a few series but didn’t make any impact as he wasn’t targeted. Based on reports out of Jacksonville, he seems to be having a decent camp.
Chandler Catanzaro - PK, Bucs
Catanzaro had a late game-winner for the Bucs, but it wasn’t a great first game for him as he missed an extra point and a field goal. If he doesn’t win the job, could he be an option for the Jets with Cairo Santos struggling to get on the practice field?
Bryce Petty - QB, Dolphins
Petty didn’t do too badly, completing four of seven passes for 53 yards and a touchdown and also completing a pass for a two-point conversion which looked like it might be the winning score until Catanzaro’s late kick. However, he also had one interception and his roster chances don’t look too great as he was the fourth quarterback into the game.
Jeremy Kerley - WR, Bills
Kerley has a shot at making a Bills roster that lacks depth at wide receiver despite the recent Corey Coleman trade. In the first preseason game, Kerley caught a 16-yard pass and fielded one punt. Most Bills writers seem to believe he’ll be the team’s primary slot receiver in 2018.
Wesley Johnson - OL, Lions
Johnson got off to a good start with the Lions as he was playing left guard with the second unit and sprung a 13-yard run with a good second level block. He got beaten for a hit and a couple of pressures later on though. His roster chances improved with an injury to Graham Glasgow in practice on Tuesday.
Kony Ealy - DE, Cowboys
Ealy got some playing time in the first preseason game, but failed to generate any statistics or record any pressure in a few series of work. Ealy has been so underwhelming off the edge in camp so far that the Cowboys are experimenting with him at defensive tackle instead.
Julian Stanford - LB, Bills
Stanford was in on one tackle and had a quarterback hit, but he was penalized twice for illegal contact and an illegal hit and also gave up two 20-yard pass plays. Stanford is in the mix for a roster spot and helped his cause with an interception in practice earlier this week.
Freddie Bishop - OLB, Lions
Bishop had a productive first game as he registered five tackles including a couple of run stops and had a couple of pressures off the bench. However, he lost contain on one outside run. He seems to be having a good camp, based on reports.
Damore’ea Stringfellow - WR, Seahawks
Stringfellow has apparently been impressive in camp with Seattle, but he only had one catch for 15 yards in their first preseason game.
Jojo Natson - WR, Rams
Natson caught two short passes for 14 yards and showed some flashes in the return game, including a 29 yard punt return. He ended up averaging 14 yards per on four returns and 23 yards on seven kickoffs.
Korren Kirven - OL, Cowboys
Kirven saw some late game action but didn’t impress much as he had a false start and was beaten a couple of times in pass protection. He seems like a long shot.
Bucky Hodges - TE, Steelers
Hodges hasn’t been in Pittsburgh very long and didn’t get much playing time on offense in his first preseason game with them. He wasn’t targeted. The Steelers are banged up at tight end but he still only has an outside shot at making their roster.
Jeremy Langford - RB, Miami
Langford only just joined Miami last week and didn’t see any action in their first preseason game.
Edmond Robinson - LB, Arizona
Robinson had two tackles on defense, one on a short pass and one on a run stuff. He also added a special teams tackle in punt coverage. He’s missed some practice time this week, though.
Geoff Gray - OL, Browns
Gray only played late in the fourth quarter, seeing action at right guard. He gave up one pressure and allowed his man to stuff a run.
Akeem Judd - RB, Packers
Judd only recently joined the Packers, but got some work in last week’s game, busting an 11-yard run on his best play. His other five carries generated just eight yards though.
Jeremy Cash - S, Cardinals
Cash’s first preseason performance began well, but ended badly. He scored a touchdown on a 12-yard fumble return and was credited with two tackles on a run stuff and a third down stop on a Geno Smith scramble. He was also in on a special teams tackle. Unfortunately, he was carted off with a season-ending knee injury late in the third quarter and has since been waived/injured.
Michael Hunter - CB, Broncos
Hunter saw action in the second half of Denver’s preseason opener and was credited with two tackles, both on running plays, but was called for pass interference on a deep throw to rookie Jeff Badet. He’s on the bubble, according to local media.
Travaris Cadet - RB, Bills
It’s good to see Cadet back on the field after some injury issues, but he didn’t make much of an impact in the Bills’ first game as he rushed for four yards on two carries and caught a two-yard pass. Cadet was considered in the driving seat for the number three running back role, but that spot is not secure yet.
Anthony Johnson - DL, Colts
Johnson came off the bench in the Colts’ first preseason game and recorded two tackles including a tackle in the backfield as he rallied to the ball on a short pass. He’s missed time this week with a back injury.
Will Tye - NE, Patriots
Tye is still with New England having been picked up by them last year. He had two catches for six yards in their first preseason game. Tye has had some issues with dropping passes in practice and is therefore considered a long-shot.
Marcus Murphy - RB, Bills
Murphy had a good day in the Bills first preseason game, doing most of his damage in the first half. He rushed for 35 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and added 30 yards on four receptions, including a 15-yarder. He also returned one punt five yards. He’s gunning for Cadet’s spot as the number three running back.
Kalif Raymond - WR, Giants
Raymond didn’t record a catch, although he tied for the team-lead in total snaps was unsuccessfully targeted twice. He also returned a couple of punts and a kickoff but without much success.
Jason Vander Laan - TE, Panthers
Vander Laan looked sharp on a 22-yard catch down the seam and did a decent job as a blocker off the bench. He’s in the mix to be the Panthers’ third tight end.
- DL Claude Pelon signed with Tennessee but then tore his ACL a few days later;
- TE Zach Conque signed with Jacksonville but was released in June;
- DT Lord Hyeamang was signed by Seattle after his release by the Jets, but they released him earlier this month. He was just signed by the Rams on Sunday;
- New Orleans signed cornerbacks Robert Nelson and Marcus Williams on Sunday; and
- QB Christian Hackenberg, already released by the Raiders, was signed by the Eagles on Sunday.
Of course there are still several recent departures who aren’t currently with a team, such as Bruce Carter, Courtney Upshaw and Jalin Marshall. We’ll add these to the list if they get a deal.