The Jets’ surprising cut of third-round pick Jachai Polite on Saturday was not just based on his on-field struggles.
A source confirmed Polite was fined more than $100,000 by the team during his four months as a Jet for violating team rules, including being late for meetings. Pro Football Talk first reported Polite’s fines.
Polite received a $1.1 million signing bonus as part of the four-year rookie contract he signed with the Jets, so he ended up spending about 10 percent of that on fines.
The Jets drafted Polite in the third round in April, though there were some known character concerns about the linebacker. He had some problems at Florida and then bombed the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He had been projected as a first-round pick in January, but slid.
Former general manager Mike Maccagnan selected Polite despite the character issues. New GM Joe Douglas, with no allegiance to Maccagnan’s picks, cut him on Saturday. Polite cleared waivers and was signed by the Seahawks to be on their practice squad.
It was clear Polite was struggling on the field during training camp and in the preseason. He got mainly third-team reps early in camp and then worked with the second-team later. Polite had very little impact in practice or the games.
Polite could not even get on the field on special teams, which is usually where young players make their mark if they are not ready to play offense or defense.
The Jets made Polite the 68th overall pick, hoping he would help their pass rush. Polite had 11 sacks as a junior for the Gators last year.