When the New York Jets kicked off training camp, the word around town was that outside linebacker Ricky Sapp could be in for a big season with the Gang Green. His first preseason outing, though, has me thinking that he might not even make the 53-man roster.
Throughout the first week of preseason action, Sapp has tallied the worst rating of any 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, he currently boasts a -5.0 rating, 2.3 points lower than any other player at his position.
In only 39 snaps, Sapp was nonexistent for the Jets’ defense. Play after play, he was eaten up by opposing offensive linemen and was a complete nonfactor in the pass-rush department. His -2.5 rusher rating makes him the second-worst of any defender in the NFL through one week of preseason play. Not very promising for a player who was supposed to have turned a corner this year.
After the Philadelphia Eagles made him a fifth-round pick in 2010, Sapp has done little to prove his worth in the NFL. It took less than two seasons for the Eagles to give up on him, and he hasn’t done much more with the Jets. It’s becoming clear that Sapp is nothing more than a tease who looks the part but can’t produce when it matters.
While head coach Rex Ryan is known for keeping lackluster players in prominent roles, it’s hard to imagine the Jets sticking with Sapp if he continues to flounder as the preseason rolls along.
The Jets are already facing long odds to be contenders in 2013, and keeping disappointments like Sapp on the team isn’t helping their chances.