The New York Jets have waived 2015 second-round wide receiver Devin Smith with an injury designation.
Smith suffered a torn ACL at some point prior to the draft, which led to the team using third- and fourth-round picks on receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. This was Smith’s second major right knee injury in a 16-month span.
The 37th overall pick in 2015 can safely be called a major bust. Injuries clearly played a major role in that, and his football future surely is in some doubt now. But the Jets’ hopes that the 6 foot, 196-pound Smith, a star at Ohio State who made a slew if big plays during the 2014 season, could add a deep-speed dimension to their offense are now dashed.
In two seasons, Smith played in 14 games and caught a mere 10 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown. He played in only four games last season (one catch for 20 yards) and has never had more than three catches or 39 yards in an NFL game. All that for the four-year, $5.87 million contract he signed as a rookie, with $3.23 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $2.53 million.
Smith, 25, now can be claimed by any other team on waivers. But he’s out for the entire 2017 season, so any team willing to take him on would have to place him on injured reserve and pick up the remainder of his contract.
Round 2 has been just an awful spot for the Jets in the draft the past decade. The team has missed badly on Vlad Ducasse, Stephen Hill, Geno Smith, Jace Amaro and Smith — all of which are no longer with the team. And let’s face it, hopes are not that high for 2016 second-rounder Christian Hackenberg, who did not play as a rookie despite the Jets’ awful QB struggles. Just know what you’re walking into, Marcus Maye. (He was the Jets’ second-rounder this year.)
The Jets now have 12 receivers on their roster. They’ve jettisoned Brandon Marshall, the team’s leading receiver in 2016, and hope to have Eric Decker — that is, if he’s not traded — back to full health following a season-ending injury.
Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Charone Peake and Jalin Marshall all return and caught at least 14 passes last season, but the quartet only combined for eight TD catches on what was one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
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