You, sir! Yes, you, in the cubicle with the tie that doesn’t fit very well and the 6.5 40 speed. Want to be a professional football player? Well, get your ass up to New York, amigo, because the Jets are redefining “desperate.”
According to the NEW YORK TIMES, the Jets are looking for a solution at the least-athletic position on the football field. They’ve burned through so many other prospects that hey, it might as well be you.
The team has signed or claimed seven punters since the end of the 2008 season.
The latest one is Steve Weatherford, who was released by Jacksonville over the weekend. He replaced A.J. Trapasso, who was seemingly with the Jets for a few hours. (Trapasso’s claim to fame was hitting the video board at the new Dallas stadium.) The Jets also went through Glenn Pakulak, Reggie Hodges, Ken Parrish, Eric Wilbur, [and] T.J. Conley.
According to the transaction list, Pakulak and Hodges were brought in twice and cut twice.
That, sirs, is pure transactional diarrhea. Factoring in Pakulak and Hodges’ double-duty, that’s nine signings and eight cuts at punter alone since Sports Voldemort threw away the 2008 playoffs for the Jets.
In fact, that figure of nine offseason signings at one roster position is the most ever, according to the Bureau of Things We Made Up That Are Probably True And If They’re Not Then Nobody’s The Wiser Anyway So Whatever. That place really needs a shorter name.
The larger question, though, is why the Jets would need to go through this many punters to begin with. You’d think, after all, that the punters were being tried out before being signed, and that any questions of ability would be taken care of before going through the signing process.
Further, the variance in performance between different replacement-level punters is so small - smaller than any other position, and far less consequential - that this seems like little more than a giant waste of time. Functionally, the seven players the Jets have - pardon the term - kicked to the curb are near-equals. What precluded the sacking of each isn’t clear, but if the Jets are burning through them this quickly, it probably isn’t related to the job at hand, which is just playing football.