As expected, the Jets made a flurry of moves Sunday, focusing on the bottom of the roster. Thoughts:
1. OLB Aaron Maybin, released: The former Bills No. 1 pick was fighting an uphill climb from the moment he arrived, mostly because he didn't know the system. He flashed in the last game, showing an outside burst to the quarterback, but he's a one-trick pony -- and he doesn't perform that trick very well (no sacks in two seasons with the Bills). Rex Ryan's system requires discipline and versatility, and he evidently doesn't believe Maybin fits. I keep thinking back to something special teams coach Mike Westhoff told me while we were sitting in his office a couple of weeks ago, discussing Maybin's chances: "I don't think the guys in Buffalo are dummies." Obviously, he was referring to their decision to release him after only two years. Picking him in the first place is another story.
2. QB Kevin O'Connell, claimed on waivers from Dolphins: The no-brainer move of the year. The Jets pray he never has to play a down (if he does, it means the Mark Brothers are hurt -- and that would be disaster), but he's a good solution to the third-string issue. He knows the system and won't cost much.
3. QB Greg McElroy, placed on injured reserve: Yes, Ryan had been saying there was no plan to put McElroy (thumb surgery) on IR, but let's take a step back for a moment: This was going to be a red-shirt/learning year anyway for McElroy; now he'll be learning on IR. Realistically, it's probably going to be a couple of months before he's 100 percent, so you're already into October/November. What's the point of rushing a rookie back into practice?
4. WR Mardy Gilyard, claimed on waivers from Rams: I always liked Gilyard at Cincinnati. A fourth-round pick in 2010 by the Rams, he caught only six passes for 63 yards as a rookie, but he also returned kickoffs -- a 22-yard average on 16 returns. Right now, he's the fifth receiver out of six, with injured Logan Payne (wrist surgery) dropping to No. 6. Can't figure that one out; why hold a spot of the 53-man for a bottom-of-the-roster player who's going to miss about two months?
5. C Colin Baxter, claimed on waivers from the Chargers. The Jets didn't have a backup center on the roster, so there you go. He's a rookie free agent out of Arizona, where he started for two years at guard and two at center. Here's what the Pro Football Weekly draft guide says about Baxter:
"A smart, hard-working short-area blocker with enough grit and toughness to earn a job as a swing interior backup. Could overachieve is way into a lineup. Priority free agent."
6. S Andrew Sendejo, claimed on waivers from the Cowboys: Not sure why they needed another safety. After all, they traded Dwight Lowery Saturday because "we're really stocked," according to Ryan. The Jets open against the Cowboys, so it's possible they could use Sendejo to acquire some intel on the Dallas defense, but do you think that's necessary? Who knows Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan better than his twin brother, Rex? Sendejo, who started his career in the UFL, played two games last season for Dallas.