The New York Jets released Michael Carter in the middle of his third season
Carter, 24, was a fourth-round pick (107th overall) in the 2021 draft out of North Carolina. While he proved to be an elusive dual threat during his first year with the team (964 yards from scrimmage, good for fourth among first-year running backs), he struggled to develop a role for himself once the team added Breece Hall in the second round of the following year’s draft.
Carter had partaken in each of the Jets’ first nine games of 2023 and amassed 106 yards on 23 total touches, including 15 receptions for 68 yards. The North Carolina alum played only nine snaps in Sunday night’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and was benched entirely after a chop block penalty on the Jets’ opening possession of the second half.
The release of Carter could open things up for a Jets offense whose struggle to score touchdowns has been well-documented in the wake of losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the year. Fifth-round rookie and Brooklyn native Izzy Abanikanda could earn a promotion to the active roster with Carter gone, working behind Hall and Dalvin Cook. Despite a fair amount of hype surrounding the Jets’ run game, New York ranks 30th in rushing attempts per game with 22.0 through the first 10 weeks of the year, which have seen them score only three times on the ground (two for Hall and one for fullback Nick Bawden).
Carter is the latest casualty of the increasingly doomed 2021 Jets draft class. Of the 10-man group, three (Elijah Moore, Jason Pinnock, Jonathan Marshall) are on other teams and two (Carter, Hamsah Nasirildeen) are not on a current NFL roster. One of the first-rounders was Alijah Vera-Tucker (14th overall), a consistent starter who has faced frequent injuries while second overall choice Zach Wilson has insufficiently filled in for Rodgers.
The Jets (4-5) return to action on Sunday afternoon for a divisional tilt against the Buffalo Bills (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
Geoff Magliocchetti is on X @GeoffJMags
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