Well, it finally happened. Stephen Hill is no longer a member of the New York Jets. After a disappointing preseason that was preceded with a lot of positive talk from the coaches about Hill working harder than ever and taking the next step, the Jets grew impatient and decided to pull the plug.
To just about everyone, this move is no surprise. Since training camp started, the countdown until the end of Stephen Hill's time as a Jet has been an ongoing storyline. It was puzzling as to how Stephen Hill's praised abilities from his days at Georgia Tech and his efforts at practice were not translating onto the field. In fact, it almost seemed as if he was unsure of how to use his skills on gameday.
What adds more salt to the wound is that the Jets considered waiting until the 4:00pm deadline to see if they could trade him away. This marks the second time the Jets tried to deal the third-year wide receiver elsewhere but were unsuccessful in doing so. Even though he may receive another opportunity elsewhere soon, it is a kick in the stomach finding out that no team sees anything in him, at least right now, that they find worthy of building on or bringing to their offense.
Hill does not leave too many outstanding moments behind. His only real big performance came in his NFL debut when he caught five passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Outside of that game, he managed to score only two more touchdowns during his tenure with the Jets. That combined with the grand total of 44 receptions for 592 yards in two seasons does not quite reflect the expected potential of a 43rd overall draft pick.
Another reason teams may be a little nervous to give Hill a chance is his issues battling injuries. He managed to play in 23 out of a possible 32 games in two years as a Jet. When he was not on the field, he experienced pain in his knees which ended up landing him on the injured reserved in both years. While he needs to tool up his game, he must first find a way to stay healthy.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure. The New York Jets were not a good fit for Stephen Hill, but he may be to redeem himself elsewhere. All the Jets can do now concerning Hill is ask themselves what went wrong.
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