Dynamic returner or not, Joe McKnight no longer deserves his roster spot with the New York Jets.
For the last three seasons, McKnight has struggled to take advantage of the athleticism and electricity that made him such an exciting player at USC. While he’s shown some potential as a return specialist and change-of-pace running back, McKnight hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.
Still, it was assumed that he would make the Jets’ 53-man roster in 2013, especially with their questionable situation at running back. His recent rash of setbacks, though, has me thinking that New York won’t consider McKnight worth keeping around.
The first mistake was showing up for training camp out of shape. McKnight failed his conditioning test, temporarily landing himself on the Jets’ physical unable to perform list. Next came a concussion, which knocked McKnight out of practice and took him away from crucial snaps. Finally, he capped off his roster spot sabotage when he was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants.
For a guy that seemed so determined to carve a niche in the Jets’ offense, it’s starting to look like he’s putting on an act.
With Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson currently away from the field, McKnight had a perfect opportunity to prove his worth to the Jets. Instead, Bilal Powell has stolen the spotlight during training camp and is setting himself up to steal a spot on the running back depth chart. And once Ivory and Goodson return, it could be game over for McKnight.
Who cares if you’re a good return man when you can’t stay in shape or keep yourself out of trouble away from the gridiron? The Jets are quickly realizing they made a mistake in spending a fourth-round pick on McKnight back in 2010 and should give him the ax by the time the regular season rolls around.
Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses instead of waiting for the light to flicker on. Sorry, but McKnight’s bulb is already burnt out.