Jets release K Brett Maher, officially sign WR Donte Moncrief

New York Jets

The New York Jets have released kicker Brett Maher and signed wide receiver Donte Moncrief. The pair of roster moves remove the competition at kicker and increase the much-needed depth for an injury-riddled receiving group.

Brett Maher was brought over to compete for the starting job after two seasons in Dallas. Across those two seasons, he converted on 49 of his 66 field goal attempts and 68 of his 69 extra-point attempts. Now, with him gone, the job is back to Sam Ficken, who converted on just 19 of 27 field goal attempts last season.

The addition of Donte Moncrief was a crucial one for a depleted receiving group. Current injuries to Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, Vyncint Smith and Jeff Smith will allow Moncrief to get reps immediately before the season begins. Across 77 career games, he has totaled 204 receptions for 2,561 yards and 21 touchdowns. He isn’t a huge addition, but he is a much-needed one at this time.

The two roster moves will immediately impact the outlook of this team. Sam Ficken is now the only placekicker on the roster and Donte Moncrief will attempt to bolster a fragile Jets receiving group.

New York Jets set to sign WR Donte Moncrief (Report)

New York Jets

Set to assist the New York Jets’ depleted receiving corps, the veteran Moncrief spent last season with Pittsburgh and Carolina.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the New York Jets are set to add veteran receiver Donte Moncrief. The receiver must first pass COVID-19 protocols before joining his new squad. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

Moncrief, who turned 27 earlier this month, entered the league as an early entry, third-round pick (90th overall) of the Indianapolis Colts in 2014. After four years in Indianapolis, he spent a year with the Jacksonville Jaguars before spending last season between Pittsburgh and Carolina. Overall, he has earned 2,561 yards on 204 receptions, good for 21 touchdowns, over six seasons so far.

Notably, Moncrief scored seven touchdowns in only nine games during the 2016 season while dealing with both a shoulder and hamstring issue. As a rookie, he earned a postseason touchdown with a 36-yard score from Andrew Luck in the Colts’ 26-10 win over Cincinnati in the wild-card round.

Fans of Moncrief’s new employers may remember him for a 67-yard touchdown against the Jets in a September 2018 get-together in Duval. Moncrief had a season-best 109 receiving yards in Jacksonville’s 31-12 win. To date, it’s his last 100-yard game.

Upon his arrival to camp, Moncrief, who also worked out with San Francisco, should help a depleted New York receiving corps that has been befallen by injury during their training camp proceedings. Potential top targets Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims have been dealing with injuries, as has undrafted standout Lawrence Cager. Head coach Adam Gase did mention that he expected Perriman to return to practice this weekend. Moncrief was one of several veteran receivers who auditioned to fill the gap. Kevin White was also in that group but the former first-round pick recently inked a deal with the aforementioned 49ers.

The Jets welcome back veteran slot man Jamison Crowder and also signed two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Hogan earlier this month. But beyond that, there is little experience, the rest of the roster populated by inexperienced veterans and undrafted free agents. Moncrief is expected to shore up that spot on the depth chart and add reliable hands to a developing offense.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags