In an occasional feature, we're going to briefly highlight any of the lesser-known players that make an unexpected impact during camp or in the season. Today, we focus on tight end Lawrence Cager:
What he did:
The converted wide receiver is having an impressive camp and he carried that momentum into the preseason opener where he led the Jets with 40 receiving yards and had another impressive catch called back due to a penalty.
In practice, he's continued to make impressive plays:
TE Lawrence Cager with a sweet one handed catch on a pass from Chris Streveler, thrown behind him. #Jets— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) August 16, 2022
And Lawrence Cager with a leaping grab for 20 yards to inside the 10 on a pass from Mike White. Really good day for the offense. #Jets— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) August 16, 2022
Cager's blocking has also been good and he's worked hard to try and cope with the additional mental challenges that playing the position entails.
Cager was an undrafted free agent wide receiver for the Jets in 2020, who impressed with his size and blocking abilities. With the Jets, he appeared in two games, starting one, and caught two passes:
However, he then suffered a serious hamstring injury and was lost for the season. He made his return and had four catches, including one for a touchdown, in preseason last year but couldn't make the roster due to a logjam at the wide receiver positions at the start of the year.
Cager instead spent time with the Browns, opting to convert to tight end and appearing in one regular season game last season. However, he found himself back with the Jets this year, trying to make the team in his new position.
The Jets reloaded at the position in the offseason by signing Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah, and drafting Jeremy Ruckert. However, they've often carried four tight ends in the past, so Cager may have a realistic shot at making the 53. He'll need to beat out Trevon Wesco and Kenny Yeboah to make it.
More on Cager:
Here's the in-depth scouting report on Clemons.