Here we go!
The Rostered: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Flynn, Bryce Petty, Geno Smith
The Cut: Josh Johnson
The Turk: The Jets are going to protect their investment in Bryce Petty the best way they can -- by burning a roster spot on Matt Flynn to start the season. Petty has looked good in his recent mop-up work, but he’s still a long-term play for the Jets. Geno Smith isn’t heading to the short-term injured reserve and the team wants to put a buffer between Bryce Petty and the fans' expectations by preventing Petty from seeing any early action should a Fitzpatrick injury strike.
OFFENSIVE BACKFIELD (5)
The Rostered: Chris Ivory (HB), Bilal Powell (HB), Zac Stacy (HB), Jace Amaro (H-Back), Tommy Bohanon (FB)
The PUP: Stevan Ridley (HB)
The Cut: Daryl Richardson (HB), Julian Howsare (FB)
Analysis: See a name that looks a little out of place? The Jets have bent over backwards by telling us ad nauseum that Jace Amaro is not a tight end but an H-Back so let’s put him with the offensive backfield then where he belongs. Amaro of course will miss time early this season as he recovers from his shoulder injury and that will open the door for the team to keep Tommy Bohanon in a lesser version of what the Jets would envision with Amaro. Bohanon hasn’t been bad but certainly not great so far this preseason.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
The Rostered: Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Kerley, Devin Smith, Quincy Enunwa, Chris Owusu
The Cut: Walter Powell, Shaq Evans
Analysis: Despite the ongoing questions about his role, Jeremy Kerley will be a part of this team regardless because the Jets would otherwise have to eat a large portion of Kerley’s salary to cut him after John Idzik’s contract extension to the receiver last season.
This is probably one of the toughest groups to figure out and for me a lot of it has to do with the health of Chris Owusu. Owusu has suffered yet another concussion and seems to be considering his long-term options outside of football. If Owusu is cut or chooses to step away from the game, expect Walt Powell to make this team purely as a kick and/or punt returner. Quincy Enunwa has done enough to play his way onto the roster and his size matches up with the larger look receivers that the team is favoring as blockers in the run game or as a means to create offensive mismatches. Larger receivers can’t always get open, but the quarterback can still get their receiver the ball in tight coverage windows high against smaller defensive backs.
TIGHT ENDS (2)
The Rostered: Jeff Cumberland, Kellen Davis
The Cut: Wes Saxton, Arthur Lynch
The Turk: The trusty Jeff Cumberland will certainly make the team as the team’s best two-way tight end and, with Amaro laid up as the H-Back, the team will rely on Kellen Davis as an extra set of hands in run and pass blocking. Davis can’t be relied on as a consistent pass catcher, but between Cumberland and Davis and some help from Marshall or Enunwa outside this can work in a pinch for Gailey until Amaro’s return. Wes Saxton looks like the odd man out here until they can cut someone like Flynn or Bohanon and he should be a lock to make the team’s practice squad as a result.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
The Rostered: D'Brickashaw Ferguson (LT), James Carpenter (LG), Nick Mangold (C), Willie Colon (RG), Breno Giacomini (RT), Brent Qvale (OL), Jarvis Harrison (OL), Ben Ijalana (OT), Brian Winters (OG)
The Suspended: Oday Aboushi
The Cut: Charles Brown, Dakota Dozier, Wesley Johnson
The Turk: There is no reason to make a decision on Oday Aboushi just yet since he’s suspended Week 1, so the Jets will kick the can down the road a little further with him. Personally, I think he’s the best of the team’s non-starters, but he’s been toiling a bit with the third and second teams this preseason. Colon has come alive this summer, but let’s see how long it can last. It’s come together at times for Dozier, but it rarely looks great even when it does. Harrison has shown a similar “spark” to me that we saw with Aboushi and I think he’ll skate onto the roster to avoid waivers for now.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (6)
The Rostered: Damon Harrison, Muhammad Wilkerson, Leger Douzable, Leonard Williams, T.J. Barnes, Ronald Talley
The Suspended: Sheldon Richardson
The Cut: Stephen Bowen, Kevin Vickerson, Jordan Williams, Davon Walls, Deon Simon
The Turk: The team avoided a real scare when Leonard Williams left the game with a bone bruise. No real surprises here, but look for Leger Douzable to see an increased role, especially in nickel packages, while the Jets wait for the return of Sheldon Richardson. Like Rex, Todd Bowles prizes versatile linemen and the Jets will get just such a unit again. Deon Simon seems a likely candidate for the practice squad, but the play of Ronald Talley and TJ Barnes has been too good to risk the waiver churn over the next few weeks. Stephen Bowen could be a surprise addition if the team trims a little more of the roster slot fat on the offensive side.
The Rostered: David Harris, Demario Davis, Calvin Pace, Quinton Coples, Lorenzo Mauldin, Jamari Lattimore, Trevor Reilly, Jason Babin
The Cut: Erin Henderson, Deion Barnes, Taiwan Jones, Joe Mays
The Turk: It might be unfair, but you can’t make the club in the tub and Erin Henderson has been dealing with a knee sprain that has lingered. Henderson should be available to the Jets if they need to add him in-season so for those reasons we have the team keeping an inordinate amount of outside backers. Bowles loves to mix and match his blitzes and dial them up and back, so with this sort of a mixed group he will have lots of flexibility in that regard. Totally from left field, but to support my insanity, I would not be surprised to see the Jets try out Trevor Reilly some as an interior player this week in the preseason finale to get a sense of his roster versatility as he will see a smaller role with Babin and Pace both blocking his path to playing time.
The Rostered: Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Rontez Miles, Jaiquawn Jarrett
The Injured Reserve: Antonio Allen
The Cut: Durell Eskridge
The Turk: It is hard to keep a good man down and for that reason we think Rontez Miles has a good chance to make it through cutdowns. The Achilles tendon tear that Antonio Allen suffered has afforded Miles the opportunity and credit to Miles for making the most of it. That said, he’s probably the most redundant player of the group, so he could make it through cutdowns, only to be cut if the Jets acquire a player from waivers from another team off the impending roster churn.
The Rostered: Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, Dexter McDougle, Darrin Walls, Marcus Williams
The Designated for Return IR: Dee Milliner
The Cut: Dashaun Phillips, Keon Lyn
The Turk: The injury to Dee Milliner has provided the Jets with some added depth insurance at the cornerback spot. Considering that Revis, Cro and Skrine are manning the top three spots and are ably apprenticed by Dexter McDougle, Darrin Walls and Marcus Williams to the top trio, it’s a pretty good group and more spots (seven or eight) doesn’t make them any better than they would be with six.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
The Rostered: Nick Folk (K), Ryan Quigley (P), Tanner Purdum (LS)
The Turk: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! But if it does break, then look for the Jets to have a wandering eye at the punter spot … a Jets biennial tradition.
OFFENSIVE ROSTER SPOT TOTALS: 26
DEFENSIVE ROSTER SPOT TOTALS: 24
SPECIALIST TOTALS: 3
I'm on board with most of Bassett's selections here, although I'm pretty certain Wesley Johnson will be on the roster because I can't see the Jets entering the season without a legitimate backup center. Brian Winters is the only one from that group who has worked there at camp and then only very sparingly for emergency purposes. Brent Qvale has struggled more and more as the preseason has gone on, so I don't see him making it and that will free up a spot.
If Ben Ijalana isn't going to be ready for week one, then that further muddies the waters because it leaves them without a viable back-up tackle on opening day too. I could actually see the veteran Charles Brown being on the opening day roster if Ijalana can't go in week one and then released once Oday Aboushi returns from his suspension.
Other than on the offensive line and maybe at receiver, perhaps the closest battles between two players probably fighting for one spot are at inside linebacker, where Joe Mays made up ground this week with Jamari Lattimore struggling in coverage, and on the defensive line with the two veterans, Stephen Bowen and Ronald Talley, both looking worthy of being on someone's roster, if not this one.
The two players that jump out at me as perhaps not being ideal fits on this team are Jeremy Kerley and Jace Amaro, so they might be contenders to be traded or even surprise cuts. Let's not rule out the possibility of some post cutdown waiver claims either.
Unfortunately, there are so many players whose status for Week 1 is in doubt. This places a premium on each spot because of the number of spots required for active contributors, which makes it impractical to stash many guys on the inactive list, as the team has done with players like Cumberland and Aboushi in the past. That makes it impossible to protect the rights of a promising guy like Wes Saxton, Deion Barnes or Taiwan Jones. The Jets will have to hope they can sneak these onto the practice squad and perhaps onto the roster later in the year. Bassett has basically allowed himself one such "stash" spot and used it on Jarvis Harrison, which seems reasonable (although you could probably also count Bryce Petty as one too).