FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- To make room for wide receiver Jalin Marshall, who was officially added to the roster on Monday, the New York Jets released one of their longest-tenured players, cornerback Marcus Williams.
Williams recorded a team-high six interceptions in 2015, but his play has declined since then. On Sunday, he was shaky at times in his first defensive action of the season.
"The other guys were playing better," said coach Todd Bowles, explaining the decision. "Obviously, (Darryl) Roberts and (Juston) Burris had a great camp. You fall behind the eight ball and it's a numbers thing. I think Marcus will land and play somewhere. We just had guys who were playing better at the time."
There's some risk because now they have only five corners, two of whom are injured in Burris (foot) and Roberts (hamstring). That's why Williams was pressed into duty against the Cleveland Browns. Previously, he had been limited to special teams. The Jets could've cut rookie Derrick Jones (sixth-round pick), who has yet to play a snap, but they evidently didn't want to take a chance on losing him on waivers before bringing him back to the practice squad.
Williams started 15 games from 2014 to 2016. He was a restricted free agent last offseason and signed his tender, $2.75 million. Because he's not a vested veteran, the remainder of his salary isn't guaranteed.
Marshall was eligible for activation last week after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy. The Jets received a one-week roster exemption, which was due to expire Monday.