Jets Podcast


A.J. Edds Returns, Ellis Lankster Departs

Posted Sep 1, 2014

5th-Year LB Re-Signed to Active Roster but That Squeezes Out the Popular 4th-Year CB Out

GM John Idzik wasn't kidding when he told reporters a few hours ago, "You'll be informed probably this evening of some additional roster moves."

There were four more moves after Idzik uttered those words. The last two: The Jets have re-signed LB A.J. Edds, who was a final cut two days ago, and released Ellis Lankster, the popular fifth-year role-playing corner and special teams standout.

Edds (6'4", 256) definitely made his presence felt since receiving a contract offer after his successful tryout at the team's May rookie minicamp.

But he is far from a rookie. Edds, 26, was a fourth-round choice by Miami in the 2010 NFL Draft but spent the season on IR with an ACL tear. He hooked on with New England the following year and made his pro debut in the first two games of the 2011 season for the Patriots, went on their practice squad, then was signed off the P-squad by Indianapolis and played nine more games that year for the Colts.

During 2012 training camp, after another ACL tear, he was placed on IR by the Colts. Last year he started back with the Patriots but was released before the end of training camp. This year he came to the Jets as an unsigned tryout player but impressed head coach Rex Ryan.

Because of his '11 season plus two seasons on injured reserve, Edds is considered a fourth-year pro.

He made a quick contribution in the preseason opener against Indianapolis, coming up with the fumble with 49 seconds to go to ice our 13-10 victory over the Colts. He also had a team-leading seven tackles in that game. Edds added five tackles at Cincinnati, three vs. the Giants and four at Philadelphia for 19, second-most on the team behind S Jaiquawn Jarrett's 20.

While most new players would be happy with 105 snaps in an entire preseason, Edds had that many against the Eagles alone, and his 236 plays including special teams plays led the Jets this summer.

Despite all that, his release seemed to be another case of a good player losing a numbers battle at inside linebacker. However, Nick Bellore's calf injury and the release of rookie LB Jeremiah George also this evening to bring in WR Walter Powell on waivers reopened the door for Edds.

Early last month, Edds spoke not like a first-year player on the Jets but as a first-year Jet who was a fourth-year man, with wisdom to boot. It didn't help him gain this job tonight, but it gives an indication of his mindset as he now is in line to contribute to the Jets in the regular season.

"I think I did a pretty good job with setting a standard to build on," he said of his play against the Colts. "And we've got something to work with here, not just me but as a whole team, a defense, a special teams unit. If we can take this and get better every day, every week, I think we've got a chance to be really special."

However, when one arrives, another usually has to go, and that one at this time was Lankster, who had numerous highlights in his various roles over the past three seasons.

He had his first interception and first sack of his career and the first recovery of two special teams fumbles in the same game in franchise history. Last year Lankster's across-the-field, atomic-pile-driver takedown of Tampa Bay's Eric Page on a punt return (all legal of course) was a fan video favorite.

Yet with Edds fighting back against the numbers at his position, Lankster appeared to lose his sudden battle with increased bodies who could play corner/specials, specifically the waiver acquisition of Leon McFadden from Cleveland on Saturday and the signing of veteran free agent Phillip Adams, late of Seattle, earlier today.


READ: Jets Acquires WR Walter Powell on Waivers
READ: Jets Sign CB Adams, Release WR Enunwa
READ: Jets Acquire CB McFadden on Waivers
READ: Seven Signed to Jets Practice Squad
WATCH: 2014 Jets Season Ready for Liftoff

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