Apparently the Jets can have too much of a good thing.
Less than one week after drafting two safeties in the first two rounds, Gang Green cut safety Marcus Gilchrist after two fruitful seasons with the team.
Coming over from the Chargers in 2015, Gilchrist played free safety across from Calvin Pryor in New York’s secondary. Gilchrist started and played in 29 straight games for the Jets in ’15 and ’16 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 14 last year. In his time in New York, Gilchrist recorded five picks, one forced fumble and 135 combined tackles.
The safety position has been the focus of New York’s offseason rebuild. The Jets drafted two studs — LSU’s Jamal Adams and Florida’s Marcus Maye — in back-to-back rounds on Thursday and Friday night. Then, on Tuesday, New York declined the fifth-year option on Pryor’s rookie deal. Now, Gilchrist is getting the unceremonious heave-ho.
Gilchrist’s injury, plus his $13.3 million salary-cap hit over the next two seasons, made him the most expendable of the remaining safeties on the roster; general Mike Maccagnan implied as much on SiriusXM NFL Radio soon after the release was announced. Gilchrist will only count $1.25 million in dead cap money in 2017, according to Spotrac. Along with Adams, Maye and Pryor, the Jets will go into the summer with Rontez Miles ($615K), Ronald Martin ($615K) and Doug Middleton ($540K).
Gilchrist’s exodus is a sign that the Jets are supremely confident in their young safeties to produce right out of the gate, filling the void of a reliable, if not transcendent veteran. But it indicates more than anything that New York will play to its cap more than to its competition in 2017. Happy rebuilding!
The Jets also released suspended cornerback Nick Marshall and fullback Chris Swain on Thursday.
New York announced it re-signed backup linebacker Bruce Carter. Carter played in 13 games for Gang Green last season.
Here are the other notable transactions from Thursday:
1. The 49ers released running back Mike Davis, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. Rapoport added that Davis was the subject of trade talks during the draft and will draw real interest on the market. In two seasons in San Francisco, Davis tallied 171 total yards and one touchdown on 72 touches.
2. Houston Texans linebacker Max Bullough has been suspended the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the team announced.