NEW YORK (AP) Marcus Gilchrist’s future with the New York Jets was uncertain when they drafted Jamal Adams in the first round last week.
After they took another safety – Marcus Maye – in the second round, Gilchrist’s fate was sealed.
New York released Gilchrist on Thursday, ending the veteran safety’s stint with the Jets after two seasons. He tore the patellar tendon in his right knee on the opening kickoff of the second half of New York’s win at San Francisco on Dec. 11 and it was unclear when he would be ready to play again.
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”We like Marcus Gilchrist, but it was tough with the injuries,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. ”We wish him well in the future.”
The Jets also announced that they re-signed backup linebacker Bruce Carter and released fullback Chris Swain and cornerback Nick Marshall, who was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancers.
Gilchrist, 28, was considered the quarterback of the Jets’ secondary, a veteran leader who coach Todd Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers relied on.
”He was almost like a coach on the field,” Rodgers said shortly after Gilchrist was lost for the season. ”Even at practice out on the field – Wednesday, Thursday – you give him a formation, he’s calling the play. That’s just the kind of leadership he has.”
Gilchrist had five interceptions in 29 games with the Jets in two seasons. He spent his first four NFL seasons with the Chargers.
The decision to part ways with Gilchrist creates $4.625 million in salary cap space, with $2.75 million in dead money attached.
The Jets revamped their secondary this offseason, with Gilchrist’s release being the latest move. New York cut cornerback Darrelle Revis in March and could have two rookie starters at safety with Adams and Maye. The Jets also declined to pick up the fifth-year option on safety Calvin Pryor, their first-round pick in 2014, making him eligible to become a free agent after this season.
Carter, entering his seventh NFL season, signed last year with the Jets and had 13 tackles in 13 games for New York, along with five special teams tackles.
Marshall, heading into his third pro season, was suspended four games by the NFL last month. The former Auburn quarterback had been converted to cornerback by Jacksonville in 2015, and was used mostly as a kick returner after joining the Jets last season.
Swain, a former Navy standout, was signed to New York’s practice squad last December and signed a reserve/future deal in January.
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