NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Jets released punter T.J. Conley and nose tackle Isaako Aatui on Tuesday, days ahead of the team’s regular-season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
Defensive tackle Marcus Dixon also wrote on Twitter that he re-signed with the Jets. Dixon’s agent, Howard Shatsky, also tweeted that his client is returning to the Jets. The team did not immediately announce that it brought back Dixon, who was cut on Saturday when New York signed Aatui.
“Glad to be back!!!” Dixon tweeted. “Gotta take advantage of this 2nd chance!! #JETNATION.”
The 27-year-old Conley averaged 42.7 yards per punt last season, and tied for third in the NFL by dropping 32 kicks inside the 20-yard line. The Jets brought in some competition for Conley, who beat out Travis Baltz during training camp and Spencer Lanning last week, and his job appeared to be safe. He was the only punter on the team’s roster.
“Got cut by the Jets today,” Conley announced via Twitter. “Pretty bummed but God has a plan for me and I trust in it. Looking forward to a new start wherever I end up.”
Added Chuck Vine from Titan Sports Group, Conley’s marketing agency: “Disappointed, but confident he’ll be playing this season.”
Newsday reported Tuesday night that the Jets had signed punter Robert Malone to replace Conley. Malone had been with the San Diego Chargers after signing with them as a free agent in May. He has punted in games for Detroit and Tampa Bay, and began his career with Jacksonville.
Aaitui was claimed off waivers from Miami by the Jets on Saturday, but coach Rex Ryan hinted Monday that Dixon – a key backup – could be back.
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