Jets make final cutdowns, RB Chatman suspended

By Sean M. Deegan
Publisher, Jets
August 30th, 2008
The Jets will for now keep four QB's on the active roster which means rookie Eric Ainge has made the team. (Jets Photo)
The Jets will for now keep four QB's on the active roster which means rookie Eric Ainge has made the team. (Jets Photo)
The Jets completed their mandatory cutdown to 53 players today with a few small surprises. One big surprise was RB Jesse Chatman has been suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Here’s the complete rundown of the final cutdown: S Cameron Worrell (Injured Reserve), LB Matt Chatham, DB Hank Poteat, WR David Ball, OL Jacob Bender, WR Larry Brackins, DB Rudy Burgess, RB Jehuu Caulcrick, OL Stanley Daniels, OL Kyle DeVan, OL Nate Garner, DB James Ihedigbo, DL Thomas Johnson, DL Bryan Mattison, OL Matt McChesney, LB Blair Phillips, DL Ropati Pitoitua, TE Jason Pociask, WR Paul Raymond, LB Brandon Renkart, TE A.J. Schable.

The news of Chatman’s suspension was stunning as an announcement was made by the team just minutes before the cut list was released. Chatman, who is a six year vet and was signed as an UFA this off-season from Miami, had been very impressive in camp and was the team’s leading rusher this pre-season.

Earlier in the day there were reports that he had been released which surprised many based on his performance and the team’s depth at the position. However, the Jets will keep him on the roster during his suspension which will end after the team’s September 28th game against Arizona. Head Coach Eric Mangini told the media on a 6PM conference call that Chatman will be “welcomed” back after his suspension and that he was very happy how he performed during camp. Mangini also said the team had no plans at present to sign another RB during Chatman's absence and could use FB Tony Richardson or even WR Brad Smith if an extra runner is needed.

Based on the above the Jets will carry four QB’s including rookie Eric Ainge and surprising camp star Brett Ratliff. Earlier in the day there were rumors running rampant that a deal had been made to trade backup QB Kellen Clemens to Minnesota. Those rumors were unfounded and on the call, Mangini said unless something “earth shattering” happens, he’s expecting Clemens to be on the Jets roster on opening day next week in Miami.

The Jets also kept seven WR’s on the roster including David Clowney who had an excellent camp before injuring his collarbone against the Redskins on August 16th. He’s not expected to be able to play for another 2-3 weeks. Wallace Wright and Chansi Stuckey who were also rated as bubble players by some made the team as well.

Minor surprise cuts were veterans Chatham and Poteat but both could be on speed dial if needed. With the additions of Bubba Franks and the drafting of Dustin Keller this year, former fifth round pick Jason Pociask was the odd TE out.

The Jets will go to a regular game week schedule starting with move in day to their new Florham Park facility on Monday and regular practice resuming on Wednesday.


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