With the postseason coming to a close, it’s time to recap how former Jets players who have since joined other NFL teams have fared. There was so much player movement this year that we’ve decided to split this up into sections this time and today we review offensive players from the NFC.
As ever, this list is intended to be exhaustive, but if we missed anyone, let us know in the comments.
Special teams demon and wide receiver Matt Cole was on the practice squad during the year but was released before getting to see action.
Ryan Fitzpatrick won the starting quarterback role but only threw six passes before suffering a season ending injury in the opener. He’s now out of contract.
Center Jon Toth spent most of the year on the practice squad but made his NFL debut in December. He played in six games, although he only played seven offensive snaps. Toth is an exclusive rights free agent, so should be back.
Tight end Ian Bunting was on the practice squad, but was elevated for one game, making his NFL debut. He only played three offensive snaps though. Bunting signed a futures deal after the season.
Quarterback Joe Flacco was on the Eagles roster but, as we know, he ended up with the Jets. Flacco did not see regular season action with the Eagles.
Offensive lineman Ben Braden spent time on the active roster and practice squad and saw action in 11 games, including two in the postseason, but only played four offensive snaps. He wasn’t retained at the end of the season.
Tight end Bronson Kaufusi spent the year on the practice squad but wasn’t used or retained.
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman was on the roster but was a healthy scratch each week and eventually ended up with the Bucs.
The Jets traded Chris Herndon to the Vikings right before the season and he was a massive disappointment with just four catches in 16 games. Herndon did make five starts and had one touchdown as he played 184 snaps on offense. He is now out of contract.
Dakota Dozier was on the practice squad for most of the year but promoted to the active roster late. He did not play any offensive snaps in his six appearances in 2021. Dozier is also out of contract.
Wide receiver and return specialist Kalif Raymond had easily the best year of his career. He caught 48 passes for 576 yards and four scores, posting a 100-yard game in the season finale. Raymond also rushed four times for 28 yards and averaged 11.2 yards per punt return with a long of 48. He is now out of contract.
Godwin Igwebuike was still a safety when he was a Jet but the Lions converted him to running back. He rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown with a long of 42 and an average of 6.6 yards per carry. He also caught seven passes for 60 yards, recorded seven special teams tackles and averaged 24.9 yards per kickoff return. He did fumble twice though. He should be back as an exclusive rights free agent.
Tight end Ross Travis was a late season practice squad addition having earlier been with the Cardinals. He was elevated for the season finale and actually made the first start of his NFL career, although he wasn’t targeted and wasn’t retained after the season.
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman saw action in the second half of the season, catching 11 passes for 167 yards. His big moment came against the Bills where he broke away for a game-winning 58-yard catch-and-run in overtime. He’s now out of contract.
Running back Le’Veon Bell was a late season addition but it didn’t really work out for him with the Bucs so he was released in January. He generated 49 yards on 12 touches in his three games with the Bucs, but did score on a touchdown catch and a two-point run.
Offensive lineman Josh Andrews won the starting left guard job out of camp but broke his hand right before the season and ended up only seeing special teams action in two games. He’s now an unrestricted free agent.
Ty Montgomery saw action at both running back and wide receiver during the season but only had a modest impact. He started three games, rushing for 44 yards on 15 carries and catching 16 passes for 95 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for 59 yards on special teams and added 10 tackles.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian was called upon when Jameis Winston got injured but he lost all four of his starts. He did help them to two wins though, in games over Tampa Bay and Atlanta where he came off the bench. In all, his numbers weren’t bad. He only completed 57 percent of his passes but had 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions. His best game saw the Saints lose by two to the Titans as he passed for 298 yards and two scores.
Guard James Carpenter was signed in December and appeared in four games, making one start. He only played 35 offensive snaps in total though. He is out of contract now, as are Montgomery and Siemian.
The Saints had also added Chris Hogan to their receiver rotation. He started one game and had four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown in his five appearances but then retired for the second time.
Quarterback Sam Darnold had a rough year but the Panthers are on the hook for his fifth year option in 2022 so they have little choice but to persevere with trying to develop him. Darnold won his first three starts and posted three 300-yard games in a row early in the season but things went downhill from there and he lost seven of his last eight starts, completed less than 60 percent of his passes and threw 13 interceptions with just nine touchdown passes. He did set career marks for rushing, though, with 222 yards and five touchdowns.
Darnold was reunited with Robby Anderson but this reunion didn’t pay off. Anderson had some issues with drops early in the year and after connecting for a long touchdown in the opener, he and Darnold were rarely on the same page. Anderson’s production dipped significantly and he ended the season with 53 catches, 519 yards and five scores. He’s now entering the second year of a two-year deal and has a big cap number for 2022 so it will be interesting to see what happens in the offseason.
The opening day starter at left guard, Pat Elflein, got injured early in the season but returned down the stretch to play center and ultimately started nine games. He’s under contract for two more years but wasn’t very good in 2021 so the Panthers may look to upgrade. He didn’t give up a sack but had two penalties and some bad snaps.
Wide receiver Matt Cole was on the practice squad between October and December and was activated for special teams duties once, recording one tackle. He ended up in Seattle, though.
Finally, quarterback James Morgan spent a few months on the practice squad but did not play and was released in November.
Running back Raheem Mostert had two carries for 20 yards in the first game but suffered a serious knee injury and had season ending surgery. He’s now 30 and an impending free agent who could interest the Jets as a low-cost scheme fit for depth purposes.
The 49ers claimed Trenton Cannon but his only carry went for a loss and he had a costly fumble on a kickoff. He did contribute on special teams though, as he had eight tackles in kick coverage and he did break a 68-yard return. His average for the season was just 20.5 yards per return though and he’s now out of contract.
Offensive lineman Tom Compton was a big surprise, as he started the last seven games of the season and the two playoff games at right tackle and played really well. In over 700 snaps, Compton had three penalties and gave up six sacks. However, his run blocking was outstanding and the 33-year old might still have a market as he heads to free agency.
Former Jets offensive linemen Corbin Kaufusi and Wyatt Miller also spent time on the 49ers practice squad but are still both yet to make their NFL debut and were not retained.
Quarterback John Wolford has mostly been along for the ride as the Rams headed to the Super Bowl. He appeared in three games, completing one of four passes for five yards and rushing twice for minus-one yard. He was also sacked once. Wolford is an exclusive rights free agent so will probably be back.
With Russell Wilson missing time due to injury, quarterback Geno Smith got his first chance at significant playing time with Seattle and fared reasonably well. Although 209 passing yards was his high on the year and he lost two of his three starts, Smith was efficient as he completed 68 percent of his passes and only threw one interception. He had five touchdown passes and one touchdown run but still had issues with taking sacks at inopportune moments. Smith is now out of contract.
Tackle Brandon Shell had some injury issues during the season but still started 10 games at right tackle. Shell posted the best run blocking grade of his career per Pro Football Focus and only gave up three sacks and one penalty. He is out of contract though.
Fullback Nick Bellore didn’t play much on offense, but he was tied for third in the NFL with 15 special teams tackles. Despite winning the fan vote, he did not get to go to a second-straight pro bowl. He is under contract for 2022.
Offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley was active eight times, but didn’t play any offensive snaps. He’s an exclusive rights free agent.
Wide receiver Matt Cole signed a futures deal with the team after having ended the season on their practice squad. He did not play for Seattle in 2021. Offensive lineman Brad Lundblade also spent time on the practice squad but was released in November.
Kelvin Beachum started 14 games at right tackle and one at left tackle for Arizona. He only gave up two sacks but had a career high with 11 penalties.
Receiver and return man Greg Dortch began the year on the practice squad but saw action down the stretch as he started the last two games and racked up 39 yards on four touches. He also returned four kickoffs for 79 yards and three punts for 24 yards during the season and had one tackle.
Offensive lineman Eric Smith saw action in one game, in which he played two offensive snaps.
Guard Brian Winters saw action off the bench in the first two games but was then released and hasn’t been picked up by anyone else since then.
Tight end Ross Travis was elevated for three games from the practice squad but was not targeted and ended the season with the Lions. Dortch, Beachum and Smith are all under contract for 2022 already, though.
We’ll be back with part four in a few days...