Jets hold players-only meeting on off day, RB Michael Carter released in surprise move

FILE - New York Jets running back Michael Carter looks on against the Denver Broncos before an NFL football game, Oct. 8, 2023, in Denver. The Jets waived Carter on Tuesday, Nov. 14. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
The New York Jets parted ways with running back Michael Carter on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

New York Jets players used their off day to hold a meeting with one another and discuss the state of the team.

Following their second consecutive loss, the Jets have now sunk below the .500 mark. The offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in the last two games, which has contributed to New York maintaining its last-place standing in offensive touchdowns scored (8) in the NFL.

And worse yet, hours after the players-only meeting, running back Michael Carter was released by the Jets. The move caught players off guard, and they publicly expressed their sadness over Carter, a 2021 fourth-round pick, no longer being with New York.

The 2021 Jets rushing-yards leader had been relegated to third-down duty this season with the emergence of Breece Hall and acquisition of Dalvin Cook. This was hardly the first time New York passed over Carter, either. The Jets traded for former Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson last season.

Tension was also simmering between the two sides as Carter was caught in an argument with running backs coach Taylor Embree during the Jets loss to the New England Patriots in Week 3.

The final straw appeared to be after Carter received a penalty for a chop-block in the third quarter of New York’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night. He was benched and had only eight snaps in the game. Carter finished with 15 receptions for 68 yards and 38 rushing yards on eight carries for the Jets this season.

“This one hurts the most,” tackle Mekhi Becton said on X, formerly Twitter. “I can’t even lie.”

At 4-5 and with less than half a season left to correct ship, the players congregated to discuss how to create better results.

The AFC East isn’t one of the stronger divisions and the Miami Dolphins sit narrowly ahead of the pack at 6-3.

With that in mind, there is an opportunity to rally, but the team recognized that turnaround needs to happen immediately. Speaking during his weekly interview on ESPN New York’s “Bart & Hahn Show”, Garrett Wilson shared how seriously the players are taking the issues on the field.

“The guys talked, and we had the floor,” the wide receiver said. “It was just us. We got to make sure we’re all on the same page about where we’re at and how the hell we get out of this funk, man. That was really the message. When it comes from one of your teammates, it always hits different. It always resonates a little bit more.”

“[We’re] truly sorry about the product we’ve put on the field offensively this season to this point.”

New York knows that it’s at a crossroads in its season. But the one thing the players don’t want to have when the season ends is regret about not doing everything in their power to fix the issues.

“We don’t want to finish the season and look back like we should’ve done this earlier … so let’s talk about it now,” Wilson said. “Hopefully, it leads to results, but the reality of us doing that and doing the right thing as far as calling a players-only meeting and talking, it doesn’t guarantee anything. We still have to go out and do it, but we’re taking the right steps and we’re turning over every stone because it matters to us.”

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