Quinton Coples is gone. The former first round pick was cut by the New York Jets on Monday in a season where playing time for the edge rusher was becoming increasingly sparse.
Once the golden boy of the Rex Ryan regime, Coples is now gone along with the head coach who drafted him, a casualty of greater depth at outside linebacker and defensive end compounding a declining return on the franchise's investment. Coples had just eight tackles this season and played a handful of snaps this past Sunday in a loss at the Houston Texans.
Taken No. 16 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Ryan famously worked out Coples at his Pro Day at North Carolina and came away raving about his skill-set. But the player always seemed a bit of a 'tweener' in the NFL and was hounded by concerns in college that he took plays off, a reputation he could never fully shake in New York.
He lacks the requisite size to play defensive end in a 4-3 base defense and he is without the lateral speed to play outside linebacker, where he might have to drop into coverage. Coples bounced back and forth between end and linebacker during his three-plus seasons in the league and with the Jets, something that hurt his ability to settle in on the defense.
Inevitably he will end up in Buffalo with Ryan where all former Jets wind up.