FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Calvin Pryor spent much of Tuesday afternoon on the far field, practicing with the third-team defense. And when reporters entered the Jets’ locker room hours later, the safety made sure to maintain a comfortable distance there, too.
With his starter status in question, and possibly his roster spot, Pryor declined several interview requests before exiting the locker room.
The 2014 first-round pick has long been rumored to be on the trading block, and the speculation ramped up after the Jets drafted safeties back-to-back last month — former LSU star Jamal Adams in the first round and Florida’s Marcus Maye in the second.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Pryor when his fifth-year option wasn’t exercised this month. His decision not to attend the first of 10 voluntary OTA practices last week only fueled rumors that he wouldn’t be wearing a Jets uniform much longer.
Coach Todd Bowles, however, downplayed the deployment of Pryor on Tuesday. “It’s a sign that we’re moving guys around on both fields, trying to get guys acclimated a little bit, and we just moved guys around,” he said, adding that Pryor “has been here” after missing Day 1 of OTAs.
“Today was a different day for everybody, and tomorrow will be a different day.”
But Bowles acknowledged there are also some players who don’t rotate between fields. “There are some guys who don’t move,” he said.
With Pryor declining to be interviewed, it’s unclear how he views his situation, but Bowles doesn’t seem particularly concerned. “If you’re afraid of competition, you don’t need to be here,” he said days after the draft.
On Tuesday, Bowles clarified he wasn’t speaking specifically about Pryor at the time. “He’s working hard,” Bowles said. “There’s not much to respond to as a player . . . You’re going to draft people every year. So if anybody’s going to cry about somebody drafting somebody at their spot and not go out there and play, this is not the league for them.
“I wasn’t specifically talking about Calvin . . . We took receivers also [in rounds three and four].”
Notes & quotes: WR Robby Anderson declined to talk about his arrest this month at a Miami music festival. His arraignment hearing is scheduled for June 6 . . . Rookie WRs Chad Hansen (hamstring) and ArDarius Stewart (thumb) did not practice, and Bowles said he isn’t sure when LT Kelvin Beachum (knee) will practice fully because the training staff is being cautious . . . Asked about the absence Tuesday of WR Eric Decker, Bowles said, “It’s voluntary. I don’t know.” . . . Former 49ers WR Chris Harper was signed, and TE Braedon Bowman was waived.