Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Jets release punter T.J. Conley
By Rich Cimini
One week after telling reporters he wasn't worried about his job security, punter T.J. Conley was waived Tuesday by the New York Jets.
Only five days before the season opener, the Jets replaced Conley with Robert Malone. Malone, 24, cut last Friday by the San Diego Chargers, has only one season of full-time experience, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010.
The Jets tried to replace Conley last week, acquiring Spencer Lanning on waivers from the Cleveland Browns, but Lanning didn't punt well in the final preseason game.
On Tuesday, the Jets brought in two punters for workouts -- Malone and Shawn Powell, a rookie free agent cut by the Buffalo Bills.
The Jets' punting job has been a revolving door in recent years. They had a good one, Steve Weatherford, but they declined to re-sign him after the 2010 season.
Weatherford ended up with the New York Giants, winning a Super Bowl with a fantastic performance against the New England Patriots. The Giants valued him, so they used their franchise tag on Weatherford, eventually signing him to a five-year, $12.8 million contract.
Conley was up and down in the preseason, hurting his stock with a couple of shanks against the Giants, of all teams.
"I know I'm capable of being a great punter in the NFL, and that's what I plan on doing," Conley said on the eve of the final preseason game.
Malone had an almost impossible task in the preseason, trying to unseat Mike Scifres. Malone got a lot of reps (20 punts), finishing with a 44.8 yard gross average (26th in the league) and a 39.9 net (19th). He played last season for the Detroit Lions, but punted only five times.
In other roster moves, the Jets waived defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui, whom they acquired on waivers Saturday from the Miami Dolphins.
The Jets re-signed defensive lineman Marcus Dixon, according to a tweet by his agent, Howard Shatsky.
The Jets waived Dixon on Saturday in a surprise move. He played in 16 games last season, starting three. He figures to be a key player in the defensive-line rotation.
Also Tuesday, the Jets worked out several players, including veteran wide receiver Derek Hagan, a source said.