FB Tommy Bohanon, WR Kenbrell Thompkins among Jets' cuts

The decision to cut fullback Tommy Bohanon, left, qualified as the Jets' most surprising move on Saturday. Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Fullback Tommy Bohanon was the only surprise among the first 18 players released Saturday by the New York Jets.

They slashed the roster to 56 players, also placing defensive end Sheldon Richardson on the reserve/suspended list, as expected. They have to get down to 53 players by 4 p.m.

Bohanon was thought to be a sure thing, as his name didn't surface in any pre-cutdown speculation. The fullback position is an afterthought in Chan Gailey's offense, but Bohanon still played in 24 percent of the offensive snaps in 2015, eighth among NFL fullbacks. He also was a core special-teamer; he logged 234 special-teams snaps, fourth on the Jets.

The only fullback on the roster is Julian Howsare, a former college linebacker who was converted to fullback a year ago. It wasn't immediately clear if he has made the team.

Bohanon, a seventh-round pick in 2013, was entering the final year of his contract.

Looking at the other cuts, only a few catch the eye: Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, receiver/returner Jeremy Ross, tight end Zach Sudfeld and linebacker Trevor Reilly.

Thompkins began training camp at the No. 4 receiver, but he got hurt and was leap-frogged by three rookies -- Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall and Robby Anderson. Right now, they have six receivers on the roster, including the three rookies. That likely won't change.

By cutting Thompkins, the Jets save $1.7 million on the cap. They began the final cutdown with only $1.1 million in cap room, so every little bit helps.

Other cuts: Guards Craig Watts and Mike Liedtke; tight end Wes Saxton; wide receiver Chandler Worthy; running back Antone Smith; defensive linemen Claude Pelon and Tarow Barney; linebacker Freddie Bishop; cornerbacks Darryl Morris, Kevin Short and Bryson Keeton; and safety Doug Middleton.