Jets acquire former Pats QB O’Connell. Is Clemens on his way out?
In a very interesting move that could mean the end for Kellen Clemens as a Jet, the team traded for former Patriots QB Kevin O’Connell from the Lions who claimed him off waivers last week. The deal was confirmed by JI through multiple sources. The team has also claimed two players off waivers from the Titans, Punter A.J. Trapasso and TE Matthew Mulligan according to the Daily News.
The Jets had tried to claim the O’Connell when he was waived by New England but the Lions got him first due to having a worst record last season. Details of the trade were not avialable.
O’Connell (6′5″-225Lbs) , a third round pick for the Pats last season out of San Diego State fell out of favor with New England and surprisingly was released last week.
The move sends strong messages that the team will likely deal or release veteran Kellen Clemens, who lost the QB battle this camp to rookie Mark Sanchez. Third string QB Eric Ainge’s stock soared this summer as he had a great camp and pre-season which I would imagine in the Coaches minds makes Clemens expendable.
O’Connell was highly touted coming out of college as having the size and all of the tools to be a strong NFL QB prospect. It will be interesting to see how he develops under Brian Schottenheimer and the Jets offense. You can also bet your bottom dollar that the coaches will grill him like a murder suspect in regards to the Pats offense with a matchup against New England coming up in week 2.
Trapasso was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Titans this April out of Ohio State.
Mulligan, who went to the University of Maine, was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Miami last year where he spent part of the year on their practice squad before being released in November of 2008. He was then picked up shortly afterwards by the Titans where he spent the remainder of the season on Tennessee’s practice squad and went through their camp this summer. Mulligan is know as more of a blocker than pass catcher.
The moves mean that the Jets will have to release three players which could end RB Danny Woodhead’s short tenure as a rostered NFL pro. Incumbent punter Reggie Hodges will also likely be released.
The Jets just sent out a press release confirming all of the above moves and also announced that they have picked up FB Jason Davis off waviers from the Bears. Davis, started as an undrafted FA with the Eagles in 2006 and played with both Oakland and Chicago last season.
As expected, the news was not good for a few long shots who made the final roster cuts yesterday and are out of a job today. RB Danny Woohead, the ”feel good” story of camp was cut, along with LB Brandon Renkart, T Mike Kraclic and P Reggie Hodges. Look for all of these players except Hodges to be signed to the practice squad if they clear waivers.
The speculation on Kellen Clemens future continues to be debated. However, GM Mike Tannenbaum made a statement earlier tonight that the Jets will keep 4 QB’s on the roster. He also said that the team was very high on and interested in O’Connell during last year’s draft.
Another possible explanation in acquiring O’Connell is that either Clemens or Eric Ainge have some type of injury that the team hasn’t announced and he was brought in as extra insurance. Most likely there will be much more on this situation in the days to come.
Be sure to check back to JI often for more on these breaking stories!