Clearing the way to keep four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, the New York Jets waived two high draft picks from the previous regime -- cornerback Dee Milliner and tight end Jace Amaro--league sources said Saturday.
The oft-injured Milliner, the ninth overall pick in 2013, struggled in the preseason and missed the last game because of a hamstring injury. Sources said the Jets tried to trade Milliner, who began training camp as the No. 4 cornerback but lost his spot to rookie Juston Burris.
Amaro was a second-round pick in 2014 but never lived up to expectations. Determined to rebound after missing 2015 due to shoulder surgery, Amaro got off to a fast start in training camp but he fizzled in the preseason games, failing to capitalize on a wide-open competition at his position.
Currently, Kellen Davis and Brandon Bostick are the only tight ends on the roster.
The Jets faced tough roster decisions on cut-down day, starting with the quarterback position. They will go into the season with starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, plus backups Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.
Petty bruised his throwing shoulder in the final preseason game, but it wasn't serious enough to warrant injured reserve.
Fitzpatrick and Smith will be the only two quarterbacks to dress on game day.
The last time a team began the season with four quarterbacks was 2013, when the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings both did it. It has happened only six times over the past decade, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Jets' decision came as no surprise, as coach Todd Bowles indicated Friday that Petty would remain on the 53-man roster through the weekend.
Milliner, a former Alabama standout, became the latest in a long line of first-round disappointments for the Jets. He showed promised as a rookie, but he missed 27 out of 48 games in his first three seasons.
He suffered a myriad of injuries, including a ruptured Achilles tendon and a torn wrist ligament. Counting college, he has undergone at least seven surgeries.
The Jets declined to exercise their fifth-year option in the spring, claiming Milliner would be given an opportunity to play and increase his value before free agency. Happy with their other corners, the team started shopping him in camp, finding no takers.
Milliner's $2.1 million salary is guaranteed, so the Jets don't save any cap room by releasing him.
Jets cut former first-round pick Dee Milliner, keep 4 QBs on roster