Clowney's roster spot appeared tenuous in recent weeks, ever since coaches criticized him on an early episode of "Hard Knocks." They felt he never developed as a receiver and had questions about his desire on special teams. The plan was to make him a "gunner" on kick coverage.
Clowney was cut to make room for former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Patrick Turner, whom the Jets claimed on waivers. Turner, quarterback Mark Sanchez's teammate at USC in 2008, was a third-round pick by the Dolphins in 2009.
Turner (6-5, 220) is thought to have less special-teams potential than Clowney, an NFL personnel executive said. As a receiver, Turner is strictly a possession type with limited speed. He played in only three games last season and had no catches. Turner was beat out by two undrafted free agents in Miami, which explains the Dolphins unusual decision to unload a relatively high draft pick after one season.
The Jets play the Dolphins in Week 3.
Clowney made more positive headlines for his off-the-field efforts than on it, taking trips on his own to Haiti and Ghana this past offseason in relief efforts. On the field, Clowney had 15 receptions for 217 yards and one touchdown in two seasons.
The Jets now have four receivers on the roster, not counting Santonio Holmes, who is suspended the first four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Turner will be behind Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith.
Turner seems unlikely to receive any early playing time, but if he impresses in practice, the Jets may decide to not re-sign veteran Laveranues Coles after Week 1. They told Coles that was their intention when they released him last week.
In other moves, the Jets claimed former Vikings offensive tackle Patrick Brown and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Dixon. They cleared up one spot by releasing another former Sanchez college teammate, running back Chauncey Washington, who impressed in the preseason with his physical running and hits on special teams.