The Jets are letting two special teams Pro Bowlers walk out of the building.
Jason Myers, who became the first kicker in Jets history to make the Pro Bowl, agreed to a four-year deal for $15.5 million with $7 million in guarantees with the Seahawks Wednesday after Gang Green showed half-hearted interest, according to sources.
The Daily News reported Wednesday that Andre Roberts, who also earned All-Pro honors as a kick returner, wasn’t returning to the Jets. He later agreed to a deal with the Bills, according to sources.
Those are curious moves given that Myers and Roberts were two bright spots on the Jets’ strongest unit.
The bottom line: The Jets simply did not believe that Myers’ talent level warranted anything other than a cheap/modest deal, according to people familiar with the situation. In fact, there seemed to be a disconnect within the organization over whether the team actually ever wanted Myers back in the first place. The Jets made an initial low-ball offer and didn’t truly engage in a meaningful conversations from that point forward.
So, Myers returned to the team that cut him in training camp last year before the Jets picked him up and rode him to a standout season that included six field goals of 50-plus yards. The Jets didn’t believe his success would be sustainable, because they didn’t believe in his skill level, according to sources.
Roberts, 31, led the NFL in kickoff yards (1,174) and punt return average (14.1) in his first season with the Jets. The Jets struck gold with the nine-year veteran, who also became the franchise’s first first-team All-Pro selection since Darrelle Revis in 2011.
“I don’t know too many returners in this league that are dual returners that have done what he’s done this year,” special teams coach Brant Boyer said late in the season. “You have some guys that are slightly better on kick return or whatever. But if you look at the dual stats and what he’s done this year, I don’t think there’s a better returner in the game.”
Roberts finished second in the league in kick return average and scored two special teams touchdowns in 2018. Seven of his eight returns of at least 40 yards led to scores. Roberts finally brought stability to a position that had been a big problem for years for this franchise.
The Jets showed marginal interest in Roberts a couple weeks ago before cutting off dialogue.
Players and coaches always talk about winning all three phases of the game. Well, it’s clear that the Jets don’t value at least one of those phases very much.
Folks on One Jets Drive feel confident that they’ll be able to replace their Pro Bowl kicker and returner relatively easily.