Chatham was a special-teams standout in his previous two seasons with New York, and was familiar with coach Eric Mangini from their years in New England from 2000-05. He might be best-known for tackling a streaker in the Patriots' Super Bowl victory over Carolina in 2004.
Poteat was a versatile defensive back who started nine games last season and had the first two interceptions of his career. He played with Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and the Patriots before signing with the Jets early in the 2006 season.
"It's difficult," Mangini said. "Matt and Hank are both guys that I've had a long relationship with, both here and in New England. I've known them a long time. It was hard."
Among the Jets' other cuts as they got down to the 53-man roster limit were offensive linemen Jacob Bender and Nate Garner.
Bender was the team's sixth-round pick last year out of Nicholls State, but struggled to get on the field. He played in only two games last season on special teams, and appeared overmatched during the preseason while playing offensive tackle.
Garner was a seventh-round pick out of Arkansas, and the only one of the Jets' six selections in April to not make the roster.
The Jets kept quarterback Erik Ainge, their fifth-round pick out of Tennessee, giving them four quarterbacks on the roster, including Brett Favre, Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff. He had limited action in the preseason until throwing for 131 yards and a touchdown in the team's preseason finale at Philadelphia on Thursday.
"All four guys have done positive things, and I like all four guys," Mangini said. "It's unique, it's different, but all four of them are guys that we like."
Veteran safety Cameron Worrell, who signed as a free agent in May, was placed on injured reserve.