Jets Special Teams Makeover Could Determine Roster Cuts

Braxton Berrios


Getty

New York Jets special teamer Braxton Berrios returns a punt for the Green & White on December 27, 2020.

The special teams unit is the third pillar of the game of football but it’s not always looked at as an equal of offense and defense.

Having said that, it does still carry a ton of weight when coaches and general managers are attempting to cut down to a 53-man roster. Can a player also contribute on special teams? If so, how many different ST areas can they make an impact on?

All of those answers add to a bubble candidate’s overall value in a toss-up situation and the New York Jets are currently undergoing a massive makeover in this department — meaning spots are up for grabs.

While addressing the media on June 10, 2021, special teams coordinator Brant Boyer told reporters that “there’s so much up in the air right now with every position.”

As the longest-tenured Jets coach on the staff, Boyer also noted all the ST contributors from the past couple of years that are no longer with the team. He referenced Frankie Luvu, Matthias Farley and Tarell Basham by name when speaking on the “core” departures.

This opens the door for fresh Jets’ faces to prove themselves to Boyer and Robert Saleh.


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Narrowing Down the 53

I just want to give every fan a quick grasp of the contenders at special teams. Based on the current 90-man roster, here is a breakdown of projected space.

Then you also have to consider that there are four special teams only players on the 90-man roster right now (Sam Ficken, Chris Naggar, Braden Mann and long-snapper Thomas Hennessey). Mann and Hennessey will occupy two spots on the Jets 53-man roster, plus some form of placekicker, leaving 50 spots to work with.

I know technically offensive line plays on ST, but we won’t include them in this exercise since their duties don’t really change all that much. Quarterbacks are also out. Other than a nose tackle, every other positional group has the ability to try out for various roles in Boyer’s unit.


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