By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
No one knows how successful new general manager John Idzik will be in his tenure with the Jets, but we do know that he has continued to emphasize competition across the board and that no job is safe.
If a new GM wants to make their mark in the first year, what better way to stir the pot than to make a few big-time cuts to shake up the team?
Here are five possible cuts the Jets could make between now and the end of training camp.
Joe McKnight, RB
There is a reason why the Jets brought in Mike Goodson and Chris Ivory with Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight already on the roster. As much as the Jets lacked playmakers last season, the coaching staff simply refused to trust McKnight in any capacity.
McKnight has since bcome very defensive about his spot on the roster, saying that someone would have to “kill” him to take his spot, but actions speak much louder than words. McKnight has a good chance to make the roster, but don’t be stunned if Idzik, who had no part in drafting him, decides to move on.
Antonio Garay, DT
The Jets brought in Garay to give them added defensive tackle depth after they released Sione Pouha, but he will face some stiff young competition that could take his spot behind the assumed starter in Kenrick Ellis.
Last year’s only UDFA to make the team, Damon Harrison, figures to have a strong chance to retain his spot. While he is not a pure nose tackle, first-round pick Sheldon Richardson is a lock to make the team.
If the Jets want to cut corners at a position to help out a weaker spot, Garay and the defensive tackle group could be a casualty.
Vladimir Ducasse, OG
Ducasse’s scholarship should have expired years ago, as the former second-round pick has failed to seize a starting job on any position on the offensive line.
After bringing in Willie Colon and drafting three offensive lineman, Ducasse faces an uphill battle to make the team and this time, he does not have Mike Tannenbaum, a fellow UMass grad who drafted him, fighting in his corner.
Ellis Lankster, CB
There were high hopes for Lankster as he headed into camp last year, going from a special-teamer to a major contributor in sub-packages.
However, as the season went along, Lankster was eventually benched in favor of Darrin Walls, who continues to climb the depth chart as he impresses in camp. Lankster, however, could benefit from Dee Milliner’s injury if it flares up and causes him to miss time.
Lankster will have a chance to win his job back, but with other young nickel and dime cornerbacks playing well, it won’t be easy.
Clyde Gates, WR
Gates, who was cut from Dolphins camp last summer, managed to get significant playing time with the Jets, but it was not because of his great production. He played simply because the Jets had no one else.
Tony Sparano likely played a big role in bringing in Gates, and he is no longer with the team. Gates also suffered multiple concussions last year, causing him to miss time.
Blessed with elite speed, Gates is a sloppy route-runner that needs a lot of development. Perhaps the receiver-needy Jets choose not to give up on the Clyde Gates project, but it seems more likely that a new GM decides to move on from an injury-prone one-trick pony.