The New York Jets welcome in five players for workouts, including wide receiver Hakeem Butler and linebacker Alec Ogletree.
The New York Jets roster is currently one short of 53. The four recent re-signings (Nate Hairston, Josh Andrews, Daniel Brown and Matthias Farley) fall one short of the five players (Patrick Onwuasor, Vyncint Smith, Jeff Smith, Cameron Clark and Jabari Zuniga) placed on IR.
That leaves an open spot that Joe Douglas is looking to fill, and recently, the team brought in five players to work out, per the NFL’s transaction wire.
Wide receiver Hakeem Butler, second-level linebacker Alec Ogletree, quarterback Alex McGough, wide receiver Jaleel Scott and cornerback Walt Aikens account for the five free agents. Butler is by far the most intriguing option.
Butler, 24, is a fourth-round selection by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft. It just never worked in the desert for the Iowa State product and Cards head coach and former Jet quarterback Kliff Kingsbury recently echoed those sentiments.
“He’s a talented young man. We really like Hakeem,” Kingsbury told Cardinals beat reporters on Monday. “It’s just one of those deals, sometimes it’s better for both sides to have a fresh start, and we felt that was one of those instances.
“He has a tremendous upside, and we still think he could be a really good player in this league. It just wasn’t working here, and so, we allowed him to go somewhere else. I hope it works out for him because we did enjoy him while he was here.”
Butler finished with 1,318 yards and nine touchdowns on 60 receptions in 13 games for the Cyclones in 2018.
Ogletree, 28, would fill a need the Jets have at the inside linebacker spot. Currently rostering just three at the position, Ogletree has manned down both 4-3 outside linebacker and 3-4 inside linebacker.
He’s a true second-level backer whose most recent stint lasted two seasons with the New York Giants.
The quarterback of the equation, McGough, 24, is a seventh-round choice by the Houston Texans in the 2018 NFL Draft. He is, interestingly, another FIU quarterback prospect (James Morgan).
With Week 1’s date in Orchard Park right around the corner, Douglas’s tasks are to add that 53rd player and elevate two practice squad players to the active roster.