The New York Jets were at a lot of loss for words for what to do offensively following the team’s latest clunker. Head coach Robert Saleh is not benching Zach Wilson, nor is he relieving Nathaniel Hackett of his play-calling duties. But, something had to be done and it was from a personnel standpoint on Tuesday.
In turn, the team announced it had released veteran running back Michael Carter.
We've released RB Michael Carter.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) November 14, 2023
The move comes after the 2021 fourth-round pick was benched following a chop block that erased a third-down conversion between Zach Wilson and Xavier Gipson in the team’s 16-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday.
It also comes as a surprise. Carter was ineffective in his role as the team’s third down running back, but when Saleh said that offensive personnel changes were coming, few thought it meant it would come at the expense of the third-year running back out of North Carolina.
But the numbers speak for why he’s no longer a member of the team that drafted him. He has a 25% success rate in rushing, a 30% success rate in receiving, and a 10% drop percentage as a 3DRB.
Carter had not been the same player since his rookie season, in which he averaged 4.3 yards per carry. He was upset when the team traded for James Robinson last season, and saw his role diminish when Dalvin Cook was signed prior to the 2023 season.
His release opens the door to more opportunities for Cook, as well as Izzy Abanikanda — a 2023 fifth-round draft choice out of Pitt — who figures to be active for the first time in his career this season come Sunday.
Carter will likely have an interest from other teams, now that he’s on waivers. Perhaps a change of scenery can help him regain his rookie season form.