Predicting the New York Jets' First Wave of Roster Cuts
Training camp is in full swing, and the New York Jets' preseason is due to kick off in a matter of days.
And while it's an exciting time for most players and fans, it's also one of immense heartbreak and disappointment for dozens of NFL prospects.
In the next month, every franchise, including the Jets, will cut down their current 90-man roster to just 53 players. That means that 37 individuals currently wearing Green and White won't be in a matter of weeks.
The first wave of cuts is to 75 players, though, and that's due to occur later this week.
Let's take a look at which players are in their final few moments in Cortland.
Players Sure to Be Cut
John Griffin, RB
Michael Campbell, WR
Tim Fugger, LB
Colin Anderson, TE
The Jets have an excess of skill-position players in Cortland at the moment, as they went with the quantity approach this offseason towards addressing the need. That means that the majority of the players at those positions won't come close to making the final roster.
John Griffin managed to stick around for much of last season, but the running back depth chart has improved dramatically with the additions of Chris Johnson and, to a lesser extent, Daryl Richardson. The 25-year-old doesn't possess the speed to be a much of a contributor in the third-down role, which is his most likely job. Expect him to be an early cut.
Michael Campbell finds himself in a crowded receiver depth chart, and he hasn't been able to separate himself from the competition. It also doesn't help that guys like Greg Salas are having huge training camps.
Colin Anderson has decent potential as a receiver, but New York will likely be looking for a blocking tight end to fill the No. 3 role behind Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland. Anderson's struggled in that area, and he also has been limited in practice since last week after injuring his thumb.
Fugger's also in a crowded position, meaning he likely needs an out-of-this-world training camp to make the team. Unfortunately, the Vanderbilt product suffered an ankle injury last week and has missed some practice time.
That should seal his fate with the team.
Players That Will Probably Be Cut
Zach Thompson, DL
Andrew Furney, K
Jacob Schum, P
Alex Green, RB
Jermaine Cunningham, LB
Injuries are the reason most of these players will probably be cut in the coming days. Zach Thompson has been dealing with a shoulder injury throughout training camp, and he's yet to really make an impact because of it.
Jermaine Cunningham was putting together a solid training camp, but he left Saturday's scrimmage with an injury, and it was later reported by Ian Rapaport of NFL Network that he had torn his Achilles.
Alex Green's also been hampered by a chest injury, but it's been his subpar performance on the field that could lead to his dismissal.
According to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, Green was stuffed on three consecutive occasions at the goal line by the second-team defense during Saturday's scrimmage. Dom Cosentino of NJ.com also spoke of Green fumbling away another chance.
The former Packer needed to be impressive to win a job in the backfield, but he's been anything but that thus far in camp.
As for Andrew Furney and Jacob Schum, they were likely brought in to give starters Nick Folk and Robert Malone some camp competition.
There's no way Folk loses his job after inking a long-term deal this offseason, and while Schum is a decent punter, Malone was solid last year. There's no reason he shouldn't be the Jets punter again in 2014.
Players on the Wrong Side of the Bubble
Michael Smith, RB
Saalim Hakim, WR
Chris Pantale, TE
Johnny Patrick, CB
Jeremy Reeves, CB
Brent Qvale, OL
Michael Smith and Saalim Hakim are in the same situation as many of the players I previously mentioned. They are competing for jobs at positions full of talented players, and they haven't been as impressive as some of their competitors.
Chris Pantale was considered a sleeper to win the No. 3 job before training camp, but Zach Sudfeld has blown other tight end hopefuls out of the water with his impressive performances thus far. That means Pantale is likely headed for the door.
Johnny Patrick and Jeremy Reeves are likely to be the first cornerbacks to receive their pink slips. Patrick's been out in recent days because of a hamstring injury, and Reeves is simply stuck behind solid veteran talent.
Brent Qvale should be the first offensive line casualty, as he's failed to make himself known in practice and doesn't have much grounding as an undrafted free agent.
Players on the Right Side of the Bubble
Tajh Boyd, QB
Daryl Richardson, RB
Josh Bush, S
Brandon Dixon, CB
Clyde Gates, WR
Tajh Boyd has been a huge disappointment so far, as he's failed to adjust to the NFL style of play and learn the playbook. However, he possesses good potential and his mechanics are near-flawless. If he can pick up his game, he'll still win the No. 3 job ahead of Matt Simms.
Daryl Richardson has been impressive in practice, likely securing his place on the team for now. Josh Bush and Brandon Dixon should be more concerned, as their competitors have outshone them by a wide margin. Unless they improve significantly, they won't be around for Week 1.
Clyde Gates has done a good job separating himself from the pack, and he's received praise from Marty Mornhinweg. If he can keep it up, he could be a surprising addition to the final roster.