The Jets have released running back Bernard Pierce, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). New York had placed Pierce on injured reserve earlier this week, so the club clearly reached an injury settlement with the veteran back.
Pierce was signed by the Jets late last month as running back depth, but his hamstring injury kept him from getting on the field and showing what he can do. The 25-year-old appeared in seven games with the Jaguars in 2015 and totaled just six carries for 11 yards. Pierce spent the first three seasons of his career with the Ravens after they used a 2012 third-round pick on him, and he showed significant promise as a rookie. That year, the ex-Temple Owl averaged 4.9 yards per rush on 108 attempts. Pierce added a combined 802 rushing yards the next two seasons in Baltimore, but on a meager 3.3 yards per carry.
In May, the NFL handed Pierce a two-game suspension, though the reason for the ban was not disclosed. In the past, Pierce has dealt with substance abuse issues and he was arrested for a DUI charge prior to the 2015 season. If he latches on with another club, he’ll have to serve that ban with the new team, but he can also complete the suspension as a free agent.
The Jets have already found a capable replacement for Pierce, as they agreed to sign former Falcons running back Antone Smith last week.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.