New York Jets drop another player from the 2020 draft class
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New York Jets are moving on from Braden Mann, as their struggles to find a long-term punter continue. The Jets attempted to trade Mann but were forced to waive him after failing to find a trade partner.
Jets will waive P Braden Mann after attempting to trade him, per source. Now instead of trading for him, any team will have ability to claim him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2023
Since Steve Weatherford left New York following the 2010 season, the Jets have rotated through five primary punters: T.J. Conley (2011), Robert Malone (2012-13), Ryan Quigley (2013-15), Lac Edwards (2016-19), and Mann (2020-22).
It’s not for a lack of trying. The Jets drafted their last two primary punters, Mann and Edwards. Mann has now been cut before the end of his rookie contract, while Edwards fell out of the league entirely after the end of his rookie deal.
Mann’s legacy with the Jets is filled with disappointment. Once an elite prospect, Mann never lived up to the hype in the NFL. Instead, his tenure with the Jets will likely be remembered because he’s the man who made a game-saving tackle in 2020 that ended the Jets’ chances at an 0-16 season – a move that ultimately cost them Trevor Lawrence and landed Zach Wilson in New York.
The Jets will turn their punting duties over to Thomas Morstead. The 37-year-old was Mann’s injury replacement for seven games in 2021. Despite outperforming Mann, Morstead was cut when Mann returned.
Last season, Morstead punted for the Miami Dolphins. Morstead’s Dolphins finished 21st in the NFL in punt DVOA. That was still better than the Jets, who finished 28th with Braden Mann. The Jets are hoping to return to their 2021 form, when they finished seventh in punt DVOA.
Individually, Morstead ranked 10th-best in EPA per punt this past season while Mann placed 24th.
This is the end of an era for the Jets’ special teams. Will that be a good thing for them? It’s hard to know, as Morstead’s age makes it unlikely he’ll be the answer for more than a season or two. There’s also no guarantee he’s even an improvement.
One thing seems sure though. The Jets are likely going to be on the lookout for another punter come the 2024 NFL draft.