- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Stephen Hill's disappointing, two-year run with the New York Jets is over. The former second-round draft pick was waived Saturday, prompting one of his agents to lash out at the Jets and coach Rex Ryan.
Alan Herman claimed Hill, whom the Jets had been trying to trade for weeks, was victimized by circumstances and a lack of opportunity.
"I'm disappointed in Rex because I don't think he publicly supported Stephen like he should have," Herman told ESPN.com. "You never hear him call out his defensive guys. I don't see him criticizing Kyle Wilson or Quinton Coples. So, yeah, I'm disappointed. I think the Jets have to accept part of the blame. I think he deserved one more year. I just think the Jets should've stuck with him for another year."
Hill never was a Ryan favorite, going back as far as draft day, 2012. In a post-draft interview, Ryan questioned the decision to trade two draft choices to move up for Hill in the second round. Later, Ryan backtracked, saying Hill was rated highly on their draft board. In fact, he was rated 14th on the board, according to a source.
Herman also said Hill's development was undermined by the instability at quarterback.
"The quarterback situation with [Mark] Sanchez and [Tim] Tebow was obviously a disaster; it wasn't right for a young player," Herman told ESPN.com, alluding to 2012, Hill's rookie year. "Last year, Geno [Smith] was thrown into a difficult situation and the offense was limited. Stephen's bread-and-butter is the deep ball, which we rarely saw. Stephen needs an established quarterback situation to help him realize his potential."
At the start of training camp, Hill was thought to be a lock, but he was doomed by the same inconsistent play that marred his first two seasons. Herman said Hill didn't get a fair shake in the preseason. While it's true that Hill was targeted only eight times in four games (for three catches), it should be noted that he played more snaps in the preseason (119) than any other wide receiver.
Hampered by injuries and costly drops, Hill made only 45 receptions for 594 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons. The Jets have been criticized for picking him over Alshon Jeffery, who has emerged as a star with the Chicago Bears.
Despite Hill's lack of familiarity in a pro-style offense -- he played in the triple option at Georgia Tech -- he was rushed into the starting lineup as a rookie. He caught two touchdowns in his first game, but faded.
This summer, the Jets expected him to compete for a starting job, opposite Eric Decker, but Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson emerged as the top three receivers. Backups Saalim Hakim and rookie Jalen Saunders will stick as return specialists, with Greg Salas likely winning the sixth spot. Despite his up-and-down camp, Hill expressed confidence that he'd make the team.
"Yeah, I don't know why I shouldn't," he said after the final preseason game.
In other moves, the Jets released three veterans thought to be in contention for backup jobs -- running backs Daryl Richardson and Alex Green, linebacker A.J. Edds and cornerback Johnny Patrick. They also waived rookie quarterback Tajh Boyd, a sixth-round pick.
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