New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Jets cut Dixon, Allen and Epps; claim three off waivers
Mike Tannenbaum made it clear he was going shopping this weekend.
The Jets general manager walked away from Saturday’s mini-draft with three players claimed via waivers: former Miami Dolphins DT Isaako Aaitui and WR Clyde Gates and former 49ers TE Konrad Reuland.
But with their selections came the disposal of current Jets – the most surprising of which was DL Marcus Dixon.
Several defensive coaches and players raved about Dixon’s talent and his deceptive speed during training camp. He played in all 16 games last season (starting in three of those) and finished the season with 1 ½ sacks and 14 tackles.
The Jets also waived seventh-round draft pick S Antonio Allen and TE Dedrick Epps.
Aaitui, an undrafted nose tackle out of UNLV, spent the final 13 weeks of the 2011 season on the Dolphins practice squad and entered training camp on Miami’s roster. Tony Sparano – the Dolphins’ former head coach – is familiar with the 6-4, 315-pound Aaitui, who, according to scouting reports, has the prototypical 3-4 nose tackle build.
Sparano also knows Gates well. The former fourth-round draft pick by Miami in 2011, caught two passes last season for 19 yards and returned 34 kickoffs for 843 yards (24.3 average). He spent training camp with the Dolphins prior to being waived Friday. Gates (5-11, 197) has natural talent and is beyond quick. But here’s the catch: From what I’ve been told, he’s not a good route-runner and isn’t always consistent.
Reuland (6-4, 260) -- an elementary school friend of Mark Sanchez's and played with the Jets quarterback at Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School -- went undrafted out of Stanford in 2011 and signed with the 49ers. He was waived after training camp that year and remained on the practice squad for the duration of the season.