Jets Take Chance on Former First-Round Pick in Absence of Haason Reddick

The New York Jets signed former first-round pick Takkarist McKinley in Haason Reddick's absence.
Cleveland Browns v Minnesota Vikings
Cleveland Browns v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The biggest storyline of the New York Jets off-season has been the absence of Aaron Rodgers and Haason Reddick at mandatory minicamp. The Jets will get Aaron Rodgers back as he had an event he had to attend, per head coach Robert Saleh. But the timetable for Reddick's return is complicated as he's still awaiting a new contract.

With the absence of Reddick, the Jets are taking a chance on former first-round pick Takkarist McKinley, per Connor Hughes of SNY. McKinney was at Jets' minicamp on a tryout.

The Atlanta Falcons took McKinley with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, where he blossomed into a key piece of the defense.

Since moving on from the Falcons, McKinley has played for the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams, while signing to, but not appearing in any games for the Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, and Tennesee Titans.

McKinley last played in 2022 for the Rams, appearing in four games and recording one tackle. Through six seasons in the NFL, McKinley has recorded 98 tackles, three forced fumbles, and 20 sacks.

The move on paper makes a ton of sense for Joe Douglas and New York. The Jets take a low-risk high-reward chance on a player, who was a productive pass rusher as the team looks to replace the production of Bryce Huff.

The Jets' edge room is filled with younger players such as Will McDonald, Jermaine Johnson, and Michael Clemons, who could look to McKinley for veteran leadership until Reddick returns.

Joe Douglas is Taking a Ton of Chances on Veteran Players

This offseason, the Jets have focused solely on building out this roster with veteran players, with a ton coming with major upsides if they're hits. Saleh discussed how many more kicks would be returned when the team signed veteran running back Tarik Cohen.

The Jets brought in Mike Williams and Tyron Smith, who will be big pieces of the offense when healthy. If some of these moves work out Douglas will look like a genius, but if they fail he may be searching for a new job.

More New York Jets News: