The Jets had a special jersey hanging on the wall of their country house Friday as rookie minicamp got underway.
A kid’s Jets No. 9 jersey hanging on the wall with “LaPenna” on the back. It was one of many tributes paid by the Jets in memory of Lazar LaPenna, the 10-year-old boy from Long Island who died last week after suffering a seizure while playing baseball.
The Jets have not assigned No. 9, LaPenna’s Little League number, to any of the players here for minicamp. Head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas wore sweatshirts with the No. 9 on the back and LaPenna’s name on them.
“Joe and I and the organization pay tribute to him and his family,” Saleh said. “Not releasing issue #9 this week…an absolute tragedy.”
The Jets released guard Greg Van Roten on Friday.
Van Roten has started 23 games over the past two seasons but lost his starting job midway through last year.
Van Roten became expendable after the Jets signed former 49er Laken Tomlinson in March.
They also claimed goaltender Nate Herbig off waivers from the Eagles on Thursday.
Van Roten’s release cleared $3.5 million of salary cap space.
First-round pick Sauce Gardner wears No. 20 at minicamp, but it looks like he’s going to change soon.
“It’s pretty likely,” said Gardner, who wore No. 12 and No. 1 at the University of Cincinnati. “Just stay tuned.”
The Jets are taking a cautious approach to rookie minicamp, with draft picks doing very little. Saleh said the goal was to keep them healthy and slowly ramping up after spending the last few months preparing for the draft rather than training.
Saleh said the cautious approach will continue the team’s organized activities in a few weeks. It looks like there won’t be much action for the linemen.
“We’re going to be more aware of our big offensive and defensive linemen,” Saleh said. “It’s going to be a lot more 7-on-7 this year, making sure the quarterback, receivers and defense back do all their work, but the big guys instead of hitting they’re going to be a lot more individual and we’re going to have a lot more walkthroughs to incorporate the greats into trying to save their bodies.[offensiveanddefensivelinemen”Salehsaid“It’sgoingtobealotmore7-on-7thisyearmakingsurethatthequarterbackreceiversandthebackendofthedefensearegettinginalltheirworkbutthebigsinsteadofthebangingthey’regoingtobealotmoreindividualbasedandwe’regoingtohavealotmorewalkthroughstogetthebigsincorporatedtotrytosavetheirbodies”[offensiveanddefensivelinemen”Salehsaid“It’sgoingtobealotmore7-on-7thisyearmakingsurethatthequarterbackreceiversandthebackendofthedefensearegettinginalltheirworkbutthebigsinsteadofthebangingthey’regoingtobealotmoreindividualbasedandwe’regoingtohavealotmorewalkthroughstogetthebigsincorporatedtotrytosavetheirbodies”
New York Post