5 New York Jets Veterans Who Won’t Make the Final 53-Man Roster
5 New York Jets Veterans Who Won't Make the Final 53-Man Roster
The New York Jets fielded one of the oldest teams in the NFL last season, and they have gone to great lengths to change that for the 2013 season. The Jets parted ways with veterans such as Bart Scott, Sione Pouha, Brandon Moore and Bryan Thomas in the offseason, along with many other contributors from last season’s roster.
Entering training camp, the Jets had only 16 players on their 90-man roster with more than five years of NFL experience. The few veterans that they have are either stars, such as Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Antonio Cromartie, or veterans recently signed to short contracts, such as Willie Colon, Antwan Barnes and Antonio Garay.
The youth movement is fully underway in New York, and that means that there are only a select few veterans who actually have to worry about being cut. Even the players with bad contracts, like Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez, know that they are not going to be released this preseason.
All of that makes a list like this one difficult to put together, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few veterans who will be looking over their shoulders for the next couple weeks. These players are not necessarily painfully obvious options like you will see on many other teams' rosters, but they are still candidates to be cut.
The Jets have done most of their work already this offseason, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up. These are the five veterans that are most likely to be released before Week 1.
RB Kahlil Bell
Khalil Bell spent the first three season of his career with the Chicago Bears where he was a little-used backup. In three games with the Jets last season, he filled the same role. Bell was recently brought back into camp because of the numerous injury problems the Jets are facing at running back.
Unfortunately for Bell, it will likely take another injury to keep him on the roster. The Jets have three running backs who are safe bets to make the team, and a fourth, Mike Goodson, who will be on the roster if his legal issues get sorted out.
The Jets are looking for a receiving threat in the backfield, but Bell is simply not that type of player. If he had a different skill set, he might have a chance, but the Jets have enough between the tackles runners already, and Bell will be the odd man out.
K Billy Cundiff
Billy Cundiff is probably best known for missing the kick that would have sent the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl in 2012. Despite being infamous for a miss, Cundiff has been a solid kicker for most of his nine-year career. However, that miss may prove to be Cundiff’s undoing.
Last season, he lasted just five games with the Washington Redskins before being released because he had only made an atrocious 58.3 percent of his kicks. The Jets brought him in to challenge incumbent kicker Nick Folk, but Cundiff will have a hard time doing anything more than that.
Folk has been solid for the Jets over the last three seasons, and his career percentage is better than Cundiff’s. Unfortunately for Cundiff, he probably won’t get many more shots at reviving his career, and his chance with the Jets should end shortly.
OG Vladimir Ducasse
The Jets drafted Vladimir Ducasse in the second round in 2010, and he has contributed absolutely nothing to the team in his first three seasons. This training camp is his last chance to prove to the Jets that he can become a contributor in this league.
Ducasse is in a battle with several other lineman for the last couple roster spots on the Jets offensive line, but if the team is smart, they won’t give him one. Ducasse has shown absolutely no indication at any point in his career that he is going to develop into a decent player.
Every team in the league gets a few high draft picks wrong, and Ducasse was one the Jets got wrong. It is time for the team to admit their mistake and move on. There is no sense in wasting a roster spot on Ducasse when it could go to young player with potential.
FB Lex Hilliard
Lex Hilliard was brought in before the fifth game of last season to be the Jets fullback, and he did a decent job in that role. Hilliard is a solid blocker who is competent as both a runner and receiver. He is certainly nothing special, but he gets the job done.
So why would the Jets move on from a player like that? Simple: rookie Tommy Bohanon is just flat-out out playing Hilliard. The Jets chose Bohanon in the seventh round of this year’s draft, and the rookie is looking like a lock to be the team’s starter at fullback.
While Hilliard is decent at just about everything, the fact is that Bohanon is better at all things. The Jets are only going to carry one fullback, and the numbers just don’t work in Hilliard’s favor. He will probably catch on somewhere, but it won’t be with the Jets.
WR Ben Obomanu
Up until recently, I had thought Ben Obomanu would make the team. However, rookie receiver Ryan Spadola has been one of the stars of camp, and it makes far more sense for the Jets to use a roster spot on a young developmental player instead of a seven-year veteran who is a very average receiver.
Obomanu was solid in the Jets’ first preseason game, and with more performances like that he might be able to save himself. However, the Jets are looking for young players that they can develop, and Obomanu just doesn’t fit that bill.
I believe Spadola will make the team. However, it could very well be Braylon Edwards that he replaces instead of Obomanu. I don’t think that will be the case, but keep it in mind as a real possibility. One of these two vets will be cut, and while it is most likely going to be Obomanu, don’t be shocked if it’s Edwards.
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