In one of the more surprising releases during roster cutdown day, the New York Jets waived third-round pick Jachai Polite (per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News). The Jets selected Polite, an edge rusher from Florida, in the third round of the 2019 draft.
Polite entered the NFL draft process as a potential first-round pick after a strong career at the University of Florida. Polite finished his tenure with the Gators with 78 career tackles, 26.5 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and four pass breakups. He had six forced fumbles in 2018, which led the FBS, to go along with 11 sacks.
Why was Polite released after just four months? The Jets underwent a change in the front office, firing general manager Mike Maccagnan and hiring Joe Douglas. The Jets never saw a fit with Polite at defensive end, not even using him on special teams. Quite the change from what the former regime thought of him.
"He was a kid that we thought had a lot of potential and upside and we're kind of excited to see what he can do," Maccagnan said after the draft. "We definitely think he has pass rush ability and potential, so we're excited to see what he can do as we work with him going forward."
The release of the Polite is the latest blow to his NFL hopes. Polite had a horrific NFL combine after running a 4.84 40-yard dash and criticizing several NFL teams for the interview process. He also admitted he never watched film of himself, raising even more questions leading up to the draft. He left the combine early and added a ton of bad weight prior to the combine, also forgetting to fake a hamstring injury before announcing he had one.
Polite only shined in training camp against third-team players and failed to adapt to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams's scheme. The Jets decided to cut bait, knowing he wasn't a fit in New York with this new front office's philosophy.