The Jets have moved on from their former starting running back. The team announced that they’ve waived RB Michael Carter.
The 2021 fourth-round pick led the Jets backfield as a rookie, collecting 964 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. He was expected to take a back seat to Breece Hall in 2022 but was inserted back into the starting lineup following his teammate’s season-ending injury. While he started 10 of his 16 appearances last season, Carter wasn’t nearly as productive during his second season in the NFL, finishing the year with only 690 yards from scrimmage.
With Hall healthy and the Jets signing Dalvin Cook, Carter was buried on the depth chart this year. He saw most of his work on third downs, hauling in 15 receptions for 68 yards. Carter also had another 38 yards on the ground. As ESPN’s Rich Cimini notes, Carter was benched during Sunday’s loss to the Raiders after being penalized for a chop-block.
After that game, coach Robert Saleh hinted that changes could be coming to the offense. And as Cimini notes, cutting Carter sends a clear message to a struggling offense that no one is safe.
“We’re looking at some things, some different personnel changes, which I’m going to keep here with me, but we’re looking across the board to see if we can find a way to generate some offense,” Saleh said.
Still, considering Carter’s production during his rookie campaign, it shouldn’t take long for the running back to find his next squad. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Carter should have some suitors on the waiver wire.
With Carter now out of the picture, the Jets are likely going to give fifth-round rookie Israel Abanikanda any leftover snaps at the position. The Pitt product is known for his elite speed and could add a spark to an offense that’s struggling to find the end zone.