top of page

NY Jets: 2nd Cut Day 2022 Preseason (From 85 to 80 Players)

Image Credit: (Bill Ingram/USA Today Sports)

Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin:

Twitter: @nicholasmullick

Well it is yet another difficult day for the New York Jets as they had to shorten their rosters yet again from 85 to 80 players. I keep saying this, but cutting players is difficult as not everybody can make the roster. Sometimes these are players' last chances and getting cut would end their careers. The NFL is a business after all and these are the moves that have to be made. The New York Jets on the 2nd cut day made the move to release 5 players.

1. OT Isaiah Williams

Williams came into the league going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, but was lucky when the Washington Redskins signed him to a deal. He mainly was a part of the practice squad and that can be said with the teams he has been a part of including the Chiefs, Colts, Raiders, Saints, Ravens, 49ers and the Jets. Williams was a part of the AAF’s Atlanta Legends and XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers. He was brought back to the Jets once the 2021 season was over. I mean this should not come as a surprise to anybody. Williams was done, the moment that Falcons game was over. He dominated a large majority of that game and it was not a good look. That performance unfortunately resulted in him losing his job. I don't think this is the end of Williams as I think he will be a part of the USFL or XFL in a few months.

2. OG Caleb Benenoch

Benenoch has actually been a journeyman throughout his time in the NFL. He was drafted in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.and would spend a few seasons with the team before being released in 2019. He would be a part of the Patriots, Panthers, Cowboys, and Lions during the 2019 season. He during the 2020 season reunited with the New England Patriots, but was mainly on their practice squad. In 2021 he spent time with the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints, but did not last long there at all. He was recently signed to the Jets earlier this month. Out of the bunch in the 2nd round of cuts this was the most surprising in my opinion. Especially with how strong of a performance he had week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. I thought about locking him in the roster in my prediction article and thank goodness I did not with news of him being cut. But going back and watching film against the Falcons, he did not do great in that game and was terrible as a run blocker. Benenoch is definitely a shocker and I thought the Jets would wait until final cut day to get rid of him. I think he should find another team with his experience in the league, and could be a XFL/USFL candidate as well.

3. LB/S Kai Nacua

Nacua entered the league undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, but was signed by the Cleveland Browns. His rookie year in Cleveland was his best season and he showed flashes during the team. He only had 14 tackles, but a majority of them were solo tackles, which is a positive. Unfortunately he was not very consistent and the Browns went 0-16 that season, resulting in him being waived. For 2018 he would be on and off the Panthers along with the Ravens. An injury cut his 2019 season short with the Colts. He would spend 2020 and 2021 as a 49er, but again was on and off the roster. With Robert Saleh and him being connected when both were 49ers, the Jets gave him another shot. It was not a shock that Nacua was cut. This one was an interesting one as they were trying Nacua out at multiple positions. I saw him line up at linebacker and at safety, but he never impressed me. I guess the Jets saw enough and just decided to cut bait. Not much really to discuss here so were going to move on.

4. S Elijah Riley

Riley came into the league in 2020 as an undrafted free agent and was brought in by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played a few regular season games with them, but was mainly on special teams. With the Eagles releasing him the Jets decided to give him a try due to how bad the safeties were performing/injured. Remember all that hype that many analysts were spouting out on how Riley is a good player and was starter material on this team. Yeah, I remember those days, but when Riley suffered that scarry injury against the Miami Dolphins that absolutely sucked as he had a big opportunity at the starting role. But injuries do occur in these sports and when he was playing he was not horrendous, but more on the mediocre side. But that injury to me sealed his fate and he was not great in the preseason. I had him on the roster thinking he would get better against Atlanta, but that unfortunately did not happen. I wish Riley luck in the NFL as I still think he will be a solid player in the NFL. Hopefully he can make the roster with the Pittsburgh Steelers as they claimed him via waivers.

5. K Eddy Piniero

Piniero went undrafted during the 2018 NFL Draft, but was picked up by the Oakland Raiders. He would actually get traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 7th round choice in the 2021 NFL Draft. The pick, if you would want to know, became OL Michal Menet. Pineiro was solid for the Chicago Bears in 2019 as he made 23 of 28 field goal attempts and made 27 of 29 extra point attempts. The Bears looked to have potentially found there kicker, but a groin injury resulted in him not playing in the 2020 NFL Season. The Bears chose not to bring him back, thus resulting in him bouncing around in 2021 with the Colts, Washington Football Team, and of course the New York Jets. In the final few games of the season Piniero performed well during his time with the Jets as he completed 8 of his 8 field goal kicks, and went 9 of 10 for extra point kicks. There was hope that he could yet again kick for the Jets, but unfortunately that is not going to happen as the revolving door at kicker continues to operate.

The kicking battle is now over as the Jets kicker for the beginning of the 2022 NFL Season will be Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein. This surprised many during the preseason as the Jets did not kick that much. But I think this is another reminder that practice does matter. I think Zuerlein was not only more experienced, but showed a better performance while in practice. I do think that this will not be the last we see of Piniero as he impressed last season with the Jets. He will get workouts with many teams that will struggle with kickers through the season. It would not shock me if he was kicking for a team like Jacksonville next season as I have no clue what they are doing at the kicker position. But I wish Piniero luck on what team he plays on next.

It sucks that players have to lose their jobs in the NFL. I wish Isaiah Williams, Caleb Benenoch, Kai Nacua, Elijah Riley, and Eddy Piniero luck and hopefully they can get another opportunity in the NFL.


bottom of page