NEW YORK — The New York Jets released long snapper Tanner Purdum, the team’s longest-tenured player, as they reduced their roster to the 53-player maximum Saturday.
Defensive lineman Deon Simon, a promising seventh-round pick in 2015 , was among 17 players waived. Simon’s departure was a bit of surprise as he had 28 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and 1 1/2 tackles for loss as the backup to Steve McLendon.
Wide receiver/kick returner Lucky Whitehead was waived/injured. He was claimed off waivers from Dallas after a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. Whitehead appeared to be the front-runner to be the Jets’ primary returner, but broke a foot midway through training camp.
Purdum, a member of the Jets since 2010, played in 112 consecutive games over seven seasons. According to the team, Purdum was never charged with an errant snap or penalty during his time with New York.
Purdum, who thanked the team and fans in a message on Twitter , became the Jets’ longest-tenured player in June when the team released linebacker David Harris. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and running back Bilal Powell, both members of New York’s 2011 draft class, now assume that title. Purdum was also the final player remaining from the Jets’ last playoff team from the 2010 season.
The move to part ways with Purdum wasn’t a total surprise after the Jets traded safety Ronald Martin to Indianapolis on Monday in exchange for rookie Thomas Hennessy, who handled the long snapping duties in the preseason finale.
In addition to Purdum, safety Shamarko Thomas and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins were released.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Jalin Marshall were officially placed on the reserve/suspended list.
Seferian-Jenkins, slated to be a starter, was suspended the first two games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Marshall will have to sit out the first four games for violating the NFLs’ performance-enhancing drug policy.
With teams able to begin making waiver claims on Sunday and further shuffling their rosters, the Jets kept all three quarterbacks — Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg — and four running backs — Powell, Matt Forte, Elijah McGuire and Marcus Murphy.
Running backs Romar Morris and Jahad Thomas were waived, as was fullback Anthony Firkser. With Firkser’s departure, Julian Howsare won the competition at fullback.
Also waived were: wide receivers Frankie Hammond, Gabe Marks and Dan Williams; offensive linemen Alex Balducci, Chris Bordelon, Ben Braden and Javarius Leamon; defensive linemen Patrick Gamble and Lawrence Thomas; linebackers Frank Beltre and Connor Harris; and defensive backs Xavier Coleman and Robenson Therezie.