Cuts and Pickups: Jets Making Some Curious Moves
Brian Bassett , theJetsBlog.com
While the Jets have already gotten their roster down to 53, more moves remain for the Jets as they treat cutdowns as a self-styled “mini draft” of talented players cut loose from other teams.
Here’s a list of who the team has added and subtracted and some quick analysis on both groups.
SS Antonio Allen — The former hybrid linebacker/safety from South Carolina probably isn’t done with the Jets. There’s not a lot of demand for linebackers who are strong in run support with a glut of supply, so expect to see Allen back with the Jets on the squad if he’s not claimed by another team.
TE Dedrick Epps — It’s no surprise that Epps has made it this far with the Jets. Epps played for Sparano last season in Miami and while the door opened with Nick Bellore, Epps couldn’t make the final cut once players started coming free from other teams. The Jets might well bring him back in some capacity – he seems another likely practice squadder.
DT Marcus Dixon — The most surprising name so far in the list. Dixon appeared in 19 games for the Jets in the last two seasons totalling 20 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in that span. Dixon looked good this preseason and might stand a good chance in latching on with another team quickly, but if he stays available and the Jets settle their roster or find themselves in need of line help, they might bring him back. Still with two versatile first round linemen taken in the last two years and a very capable backup in Mike DeVito, Dixon’s reps were going to be limited and the Jets might have thought he wasn’t the perfect fit for whatever role they want to fill out from their bench.
Players Signed / Claimed
WR Clyde Gates — Tony Sparano and the Dolphins drafted Gates last year in the fourth round and he’s an intriguing prospect. Gates had a rough childhood, played JuCo ball and is 26 now. Gates has blazing 4.37 speed and plays bigger than his 6’0″ frame would imply, but he’s a raw route-runner and has as Chad Reuter writes “inconsistent hands.” Gates was cut from the Dolphins, a team struggling to find competent players at the WR spot, so it’s hard to expect too much out of the player.
DT Isaako Aaitui — Geez … Dolphins North? The Jets are clearly gleaning guys that they have good coaching insight into from Sparano that the former Dolphins Head Coach feels like have upside. Aaitui (6-3 325 lbs) has some speed, ability to change direction quickly but needs to learn better leverage during the course of the play and has to become a much more refined player to be effective. One more thing, the Jets have had a steady pipeline of acquiring undrafted players coming out of UNLV of late, so there’s some smoke here. But all the same. essentially for Aaitui for Dixon seems like a head-scratcher. Do the Jets think that Aaitui has a much higher upside? Why remove a player who can be a contributor now for a guy who could do the very same next year?
TE Konrad Reuland — Reuland comes from waivers by way of the 49ers and seems like a logic defying move. Reuland is known as being a “finesse” blocker and mroe of a pass-catching specialist who doesn’t always have fluid movements but who has a knack for finding the seam in a zone. Reuland caught nine passes for 73 yards during the preseason. Notably, Reuland played collegiately at Stanford with Andrew Luck and he went to Mission Viejo High School around the same time Mark Sanchez did … Reuland might not be on the roster for too long, but he has some intriguing reasons to remain on the team.