FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Wide receiver Braylon Edwards and running back/kick returner Joe McKnight were the most prominent names released by the Jets Monday as they trimmed the roster to the 75-man limit mandated for Tuesday.
Edwards helped the Jets reach AFC title games in 2009 and 2010, and McKnight ranks as the NFL's leading active kickoff returner with a 29.0-yard average.
"Both those guys had tremendous moments for us, and they contributed a lot to our franchise without question,'' Rex Ryan said. "But we're trying to move forward. Will we close our door on a player returning? No, I don't believe so. But right now, this is what we felt was in the best interests of our team overall.''
Ryan praised the performance of rookie free agent wide receiver Ryan Spadola as an example of a younger player who has produced consistently. His emergence and the return of starting wideout Santonio Holmes to practice Monday after recovering from Lisfranc foot surgery last year helped make Edwards expendable. Edwards caught 98 passes for 1,560 yards and 11 TDs in parts of three seasons with the Jets.
McKnight failed a conditioning test to start training camp and missed practice time with what he described as a concussion and the team called a "head injury.'' After his release, McKnight posted a tweet that said: "I loved this place, and that's why this hurts so much.''
Offensive lineman Stephen Peterman was among the Jets' cuts, meaning the right guard job is a battle between fourth-year man Vladimir Ducasse and rookie Brian Winters.