It was reported Wednesday via Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post that backup nose tackle Isaako Aaitui had been waived from the New York Jets after tearing his ACL and MCL in his first practice with the team.
Aaitui—now 25 years old—has not yet played a down in the NFL. However, the pickup was a reasonable one for a Jets front office that wanted some depth at nose tackle. The nose tackle is crucial to the 3-4 base the Jets often use.
The more unfortunate aspect of Aaitui's story is that he suffered his injury a few days too early. By hurting his knee prior to the Week 1 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, he was able to be released without receiving even his first paycheck (via NFL.com).
At Aaitui's age and with his limited accomplishments, he might not get another tryout in the NFL. It brings into question the validity of NFL contract clauses that allow a player to lose 100 percent of his salary due to injury. In most lines of work, a crippling injury suffered on the job would have some amount of guaranteed compensation.
For now, Jets fans should hope that Aaitui is able to recover and come back to camp in 2013. If he can fully recover, he is still young enough to take one more shot at playing in the NFL.
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