After the Jets made Sam Darnold the third overall pick in last week’s NFL Draft, giving them five quarterbacks, another move was inevitable.
It was time to say goodbye to Bryce Petty.
Multiple sources said Thursday that the Jets informed Petty he was being released. The move saves the team $705,000 against the salary cap.
Petty’s departure wasn’t a surprise, given the drafting of Darnold and the Jets’ insistence that Christian Hackenberg eventually can help them.
When Petty was drafted out of Baylor in the fourth round in 2015, his strong arm was one of his selling points. He came from a college-style spread offense, though, and there were concerns about whether he could make the transition to the NFL’s pro-style offenses.
Petty didn’t play in his rookie year in 2015 but went 1-3 in 2016. He suffered a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder while making a tackle against the Patriots in Week 16, ending his season.
In 2017, Petty battled with Hackenberg for the starting job as the Jets tried to see if any of their younger quarterbacks could beat out Josh McCown. The best Petty could do was beat out Hackenberg for the No. 2 job.
Petty suffered a knee injury in a preseason game against the Giants and was inactive for the Week 1 opener at Buffalo. He regained his spot as McCown’s backup in Week 2 but didn’t take over the starting job until three weeks remained in the season after McCown suffered a broken left hand.
Petty wound up his Jets tenure 1-6 as a starter, completing 53.1 percent of his passes for 1,353 yards, four touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He had a 57.7 quarterback rating.
With Petty gone, the Jets are down to four quarterbacks, which probably is the number they will go with when training camp starts in late July.
McCown is the projected starter, with Teddy Bridgewater, Darnold and Hackenberg the backups. Darnold is expected to get a long look for the No. 1 job.