NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Maccagnan’s first draft class with the New York Jets took two big hits on cutdown day.
Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and defensive tackle Deon Simon were both waived Saturday as the Jets reduced their roster to the NFL’s 53-man limit.
Defensive end Leonard Williams, the No. 6 overall pick in 2015, is now the only member of Maccagnan’s six-player draft class that year remaining on the roster. Wide receiver Devin Smith (second round), quarterback Bryce Petty (fourth) and offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison (sixth) were previously released by New York.
Mauldin was a third-round pick out of Louisville in 2015 who dealt with injuries and inconsistent play during his three seasons in New York. He had 6 1/2 sacks in his first two years, but missed last season with a back injury.
The linebacker, who thanked the Jets in a post on Instagram for the opportunity he had in New York, was a terrific story when he was drafted. Mauldin grew up bouncing around various foster homes, but persevered and beat the odds by making it to college — and then to the NFL.
Mauldin openly wept on his conference call with the media shortly after the Jets picked him, appreciating the opportunity and vowing to prove any doubters wrong again. Now, he’ll have to do so elsewhere.
Simon was a seventh-round pick in 2015 and had 1 1/2 sacks in limited action in three seasons.
Three of Maccagnan’s picks from last year’s draft were also waived, including linebacker Dylan Donahue, wide receiver Chad Hansen and cornerback Jeremy Clark.
Donahue is facing a possible suspension by the NFL after some off-field issues. The fifth-rounder out of West Georgia pleaded guilty last month to driving while intoxicated for causing a wrong-way crash in February in New Jersey that injured four people. He also received a three-month suspended sentence last month and was fined $1,000 for a DUI crash in May 2017 in his hometown of Billings, Montana.
Veteran running backs Thomas Rawls and Charcandrick West were also cut Saturday, as was center Travis Swanson — who was trying to win a backup job behind Spencer Long.
The Jets have four running backs on their roster with Bilal Powell, Isaiah Crowell, rookie Trenton Cannon and Elijah McGuire, who is entering his second season but is dealing with a broken foot.
Also waived were: wide receiver Tre McBride, tight end Clive Walford, linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, safety Brandon Bryant and kicker Taylor Bertolet.
With Bertolet gone, it appears veteran Jason Myers will be New York’s kicker this season. Myers was claimed off waivers from Jacksonville on Aug. 21 when Cairo Santos was cut after not kicking all summer while dealing with a groin injury that cut short his stint with Chicago last season.
Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and cornerback Rashard Robinson were all placed on the reserve-suspended list.
Safety and special teams standout Rontez Miles was put on the physically unable to perform list, and is eligible to be activated after six games.