Well that was quick. Seeing a team release a 2nd round pick just a year after they draft them is rare. Hell, even seeing a team release a 3rd round pick just a year after they draft them, like the Panthers recently did with Terrell McClain, is rare. However, once Jaiquawn Jarrett fell to 3rd string at safety in Philadelphia, they just decided to give up on him and release him. The 2011 2nd round pick was given every opportunity to start as a rookie, but struggled and lost his job to Kurt Coleman, a mediocre 2010 7th round pick.
Jarrett came back this offseason with a chance to compete for his old job with veteran free agent addition OJ Atogwe and the incumbent Coleman, but Jarrett lost the competition fairly quickly. While he lasted on the roster longer than Atogwe, who was a final cut, he eventually lost his roster spot as the Eagles decided to keep strong special teamers Colt Anderson and David Sims. Sims was acquired from Cleveland primarily for his special teams value for a late round pick right before final cuts. Jarrett has never been able to get the hang of special teams. Anderson, a special teams stud for them last year, was inactive for the opener with injury issues, but when he returned, Jarrett became an unneeded 5th safety and was released.
The starting free safety job is all Kurt Coleman’s for now and he will be given every opportunity to prove he can be a long term starter, but the Eagles may have to turn use an early pick on a safety in the 2013 NFL Draft, for the 3rd time in 4 drafts (starter Nate Allen was a 2010 2nd round pick). Coleman had two picks in the opener, but those were largely due to Brandon Weeden’s ineptitude. Let’s see how he does for the rest of the season. In 2011, Coleman was ProFootballFocus’ 59th ranked safety out of 84 eligible.
As for Jarrett, he predictably went unclaimed on waivers as no one wanted to guarantee his $538,500 dollar salary. However, even though he was a surprise 2nd round pick in 2011, there are probably still some teams out there that see him as someone with upside, someone they could potentially groom into a future starter with the right combination of coaching and luck. Jarrett worked out with the safety needy Jets on Friday, but was not immediately signed. He should catch on somewhere in the next week or couple of weeks.