With the season now over, we’ve been recapping how former Jets players who have since joined other NFL teams have fared. There was so much player movement this year that we decided to split this up into sections this time and we wrap up today by looking at special teamers.
As ever, this list is intended to be exhaustive, but if we missed anyone, let us know in the comments.
The Jets have been searching for a kicker for so long that there were 10 kickers that spent time with a team in 2021 who have been a Jet at some time in the past.
Longtime Jets kicker Nick Folk is still in the league at 37, although he was released in final cuts and began the year on New England’s practice squad. However, he kicked in every game and even set a franchise record by making his 36th consecutive field goal (a streak dating back to last year). Folk made 36 of 39 field goals in all, including all 31 from within 40 yards. He did miss five extra points though.
The Jets let Jason Myers walk after he made the pro bowl with them in 2018 but he hasn’t reached those heights again in his three years in Seattle. He missed six of his 23 field goal attempts in 2021, and three extra points.
Randy Bullock fared slightly better than Myers in Tennessee. He made 26 of 31 field goals and missed three extra points. His miss in overtime in week four gave the Jets their first win though. Bullock had taken over from Sam Ficken, who initially won the job after an excellent camp and preseason but then got injured and didn’t play all season.
In Chicago, Cairo Santos was even better still, as he made 26 of 30 and only missed one extra point. He didn’t make a single 50-yarder though.
Cleveland’s Chase McLaughlin also only missed one extra point but he missed six of his 21 field goal attempts. He was 4-for-4 from beyond 50 though. When he missed a game on the Covid-19 reserve list, McLaughlin was replaced by another ex-Jet, Chris Naggar, who made his only field goal but missed one of his two extra points.
Brett Maher, who was in Jets camp all the way back in 2013, saw action in eight game with the Saints and made 16 of 18 field goals and 10 of 12 extra points but he didn’t make a 50-yarder all year.
Two kickers who had each been dumped by the Jets after missing every kick in their only game were Kaare Vedvik and Alex Kessman. Each landed on a practice squad after final cuts - Vedvik with Jacksonville and Kessman with Carolina - but they both lasted less than a week.
All of these kickers are out of contract apart from Myers and Santos, although Naggar signed a futures deal after the season and Ficken, McLaughin and Maher are restricted free agents.
Thomas Morstead did a fine job of filling in for the injured Braden Mann and then got a job with Atlanta after leaving the Jets. He had averaged 48.2 yards per punt with the Jets but this dropped to 46.1 in Atlanta, although that’s still higher than Mann (45.7) managed in 2021.
Lac Edwards spent time with the Chargers, Lions and Panthers in 2021 and was eventually activated by Carolina in November. In 10 games, he averaged just under 48 yards per punt but did have one blocked.
Both Edwards and Morstead are out of contract at the end of the season.
Two ex-Jets long snappers, Zach Triner and Patrick Scales are still in the league, although both are out of contract. Triner is a restricted free agent, though.
Scales played in every game for the Bears and recorded a career-high four tackles. Triner missed several games due to injury but ended the season with three tackles in nine games for the Bucs.
There were also plenty of ex-Jets who were special teams contributors at non-specialist positions, although we’ll already have discussed these in parts one through four of this series.
In the return game, Kalif Raymond was seventh in the NFL in punt return yardage. On kickoffs, Andre Roberts was second in the league in average yards per return, behind Braxton Berrios. Godwin Igwebuike was fourth.
Finally, in kick coverage, Nick Bellore was third in the NFL with 15 special teams tackles. Just behind him, Matthias Farley had 12 and Julian Stanford had 11.