The Jets have their initial 53 man roster for 2022. Here are some scattered thoughts I have.
-Through the years one thing I have learned is to keep things in perspective. It is unlikely that any of the cuts the Jets made yesterday will have major implications of the future of the franchise. A player who isn’t one of the top 53 on the Jets roster probably isn’t going to make a big impact elsewhere. Every year there are dire warnings that some player will come back to haunt the Jets. It almost never happens. In fact, the player frequently gets through waivers and makes it to the practice squad.
-It is also important to remember that the Jets roster isn’t static. The front office will be looking through the waiver wire for upgrades. The roster you see today will likely change in the days ahead as players become available. So all of these are initial thoughts.
-The only move/non-move I have strong feelings about is the retention of Ty Johnson. This is mainly because the coaching staff so misevaluated his skillset last year. For whatever reason they seemed to think he was a fit as a prominent back in the passing game. He isn’t. Johnson has shown himself to not be adept at blocking, route running, or even catching the football. I am hoping the coaching staff doesn’t view him as the steady veteran they need for the passing game to provide stability behind two young backs. Johnson would likely provide no such stability.
I would have to guess that Johnson remains on the bubble and is a candidate to be replaced once the Jets make an additional move, but I still don’t like the temptation being there for the coaching staff.
-I have no idea whether Lawrence Cager has much of a future in this league, but I was pleased to see him make it. Robert Saleh said it best. He was a slow wide receiver who became a fast tight end. Figuring out how to use a player’s skillset in a better way is a mark of successful franchises.
I also felt that Cager outplayed Kenny Yeboah and Trevon Wesco. This spot was decided by merit.
-On paper the Jets seem a bit light on the offensive line. I think it is possible we will see them add to their current eight players. Still I am not convinced this is particularly urgent. Does just having an extra body on the line matter much if the player isn’t good? Would the Jets really have more depth had they kept Chuma Edoga or Conor McDermott? I say no. You need one backup for tackle, one for guard, and one for center. If there are injuries, I don’t think a called up practice squader will be much dropoff from the guys the Jets cut.
-I expect the Jets to be active on the waiver wire or free agency trying to upgrade safety. The hopes for Jason Pinnock to develop into a starter seem to have gone unrealized (although I would expect Pinnock to end up on the practice squad). Ashtyn Davis seems like he might be a placeholder until the Jets find somebody better.
-It was a bit interesting to see the Jets let go of so many core special teamers from a year ago. Justin Hardee was a bubble player who made the cut, but Del’Shawn Phillips, Javelin Guidry, and Hamseh Nasirildeen were waived. Some of these players might end up making the practice squad and getting activated on game days. That was how Phillips began 2021 before he earned a roster spot.
This could be a sign the Jets are a bit less focused on special teams as they build out their roster. It could also just mean that Brant Boyer has other players he would like to work with, and these moves are just part of the natural churn NFL teams have from year to year.
-I’m not sure how the Denzel Mims saga will end. A lot of it will be determined by the extent to which he is willing to buy into a role where he will have to wait for his number to be called. How badly does he want to be traded? I’m also not sure what his ceiling is. I am pretty confident he was one of the top six receiver the Jets had, though, so I think keeping him around for now was the right move.