After using their first two picks in the 2017 NFL Draft on safeties, the Jets have opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on former first-rounder Calvin Pryor, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.
This is not a surprise given that the Jets already had Pryor on the trading block. The last of the Rex Ryan-era first-round picks, Pryor was hot and cold under new head coach Todd Bowles, but ultimately does not fit the versatile, ball-hawking scheme favored by the coach.
Pryor will play out the string in 2017 unless he's traded and will hit the open market in 2018.
If the Jets do not have a trade partner on the horizon, this season will be fascinating to watch. The team is trying to shed itself of all the negative energy populating that locker room, which will be difficult when a former first-round pick is sulking on the bench. Pryor appeared in 15 games last year, with six pass breakups, a forced fumble and 43 solo tackles.
"We have a bunch of packages where we play three safeties at one time," Bowles said during the draft, via NJ.com. "We like to do that. We didn't have the luxury last year, but we have that in our packages."
Perhaps Bowles is eyeing the worst-case scenario as a really good troika of safeties in certain sub packages. But with Pryor knowing the end is near, how eager will he be to become a bit player in this system?