Baxter started two games for Mangold, who missed Weeks 3 and 4 with a high-ankle sprain. Baxter received favorable reviews from the coaches for his performance against the Oakland Raiders, his first NFL start, but he was overwhelmed the following week by the Baltimore Ravens -- as was the entire team. The Jets lost, 34-17.
Mangold returned in Week 5, and Baxter was relegated to inactive status. In fact, he didn't dress for the last three games. Left guard Matt Slauson has become the backup center.
Guard Matt Kroul was released from the practice squad.
The Jets were happy to land Baxter on waivers at the end of the preseason, touting him as a sleeper with long-term potential. Baxter was cut by the San Diego Chargers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent. It's interesting that the Jets cut Baxter only two days after beating the Chargers, 27-21.
Because of Baxter and Schlauderaff, a rookie whom they acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Packers, the Jets felt they had enough depth on the offensive line and didn't sign any experienced backups -- a hot-button issue during the line's slow start to the season.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.