Quincy Enunwa was already set to miss the entire 2020 NFL season while recovering from a neck injury that sidelined him for almost all of 2019, but now his career might officially be over. Less than two years after signing the wide receiver to a four-year, $36 million contract extension, the New York Jets announced Monday they have released Enunwa, whose rehabilitation had prompted speculation he might not return to the field again.
Placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in May, the 28-year-old wideout was "never factored" into the Jets' offseason plans, according to ESPN, despite expressing an interest at the end of 2019 in resuming his career. That came after Enunwa missed all but one quarter of the 2019 season due to his second neck injury in three years. The former starter had previously sat out the entire 2017 campaign because of bulging disks in his neck. He likely would not have been medically cleared to suit up until at least 2021.
Enunwa's release, which helps the Jets work toward the newly required 80-man roster limit for this offseason, isn't necessarily surprising because of the pass catcher's injury history. It does, however, mark the end to a chaotic and once-promising road for the Nebraska product in the Big Apple.
A sixth-round draft pick in 2014, he appeared in just one game as a rookie and opened his sophomore season with a four-game suspension. Filling in for an injured Eric Decker in 2016, however, he broke out in a starting role with 58 catches for 857 yards and four touchdowns. Even after missing all of 2017 and then battling a separate ankle issue, Enunwa was a popular target for Sam Darnold in 2018, collecting 38 passes in 11 games en route to his $36M extension.
Despite his release, Enunwa will still count $7.8 million against the Jets' 2020 salary cap. He's also due $4.1 million in injury guarantees in 2021.