Jets' philosophy: Out with the underachievers, in with the quarterbacks

The New York Jets cut 20 players on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. They also placed defensive end Sheldon Richardson on the reserve/suspended list and right tackle Breno Giacomini (back) on reserve/PUP, removing them from the roster. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:

Most significant move: The decision to waive cornerback Dee Milliner (first round, 2013) and tight end Jace Amaro (second round, 2014) sends a loud message: No free passes, regardless of draft status. Milliner and Amaro were drafted by the previous regime, which didn't help their job security. They could've overcome that with strong preseasons, but that didn't happen. Milliner struggled in two games, lacking proper ball and field awareness. He missed the finale because of an injury -- hardly a surprise, as he missed 27 of 48 games over three years. The Jets wanted him gone so badly they were willing to eat his guaranteed $2.1 million, meaning there's no cap savings. They're high on rookie Juston Burris and prefer him as the No. 4 corner. Amaro has talent, but the organization lost patience with his drops and lack of mental toughness. The Jets opted to keep two journeymen at tight end, Kellen Davis and Brandon Bostick, which tells you what they think of Amaro.

Most significant non-move: After weeks of speculation, they decided to keep all four quarterbacks. Yeah, it's unorthodox, but it's the right call. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are their short-term quarterbacks, with Bryce Petty (injured) and rookie Christian Hackenberg the long-term options. Barring an unexpected move, they'll be the first team in three years and only the seventh in the past 11 years to open with four quarterbacks. Chances are, Petty and Hackenberg won't see the field, but they're the only two under contract for 2017. Petty didn't do enough to overtake Smith at the No. 2, but he showed signs of progress. Hackenberg is on scholarship. The downside to keeping four: It hurts the team's depth at another position. You might say the Jets kept Petty over Amaro.

Not the same "old" Jets: The Jets have 10 rookies on the roster -- seven draft picks and three undrafted free agents. You might say there's a generation gap on the team, which is built largely around their older players -- nine starters at least 30 years old. Because of poor drafting from 2008 to 2014, there's a lack of talent in the middle-aged category. That will change in time, as long as general manager Mike Maccagnan's newbies develop into productive players. The youth is most evident at wide receiver, which includes three rookies -- Charone Peake, Robby Anderson and Jalin Marshall, the favorites to return punts and kickoffs. The Jets opted for them over Kenbrell Thompkins and Jeremy Ross.

Extreme makeover: The backfield is virtually unrecognizable compared to last season. The only holdover is Bilal Powell. Gone are Chris Ivory and fullback Tommy Bohanon, who surprisingly got a pink slip. The newcomers are Matt Forte and Khiry Robinson (y0u knew about them), along with former practice-squad fullback Julian Howsare and Dominique Williams. Anybody have them on their roster projection? Didn't think so. We're talking about a couple of first-year free agents from Clarion and Wagner, respectively. Stay tuned -- there could be more moves coming -- but this position will have a new look.

Lingering questions: Without Giacomini, the Jets are prepared to start Ben Qvale or Ben Ijalana at right tackle. They're scouring the waiver wire, but finding a starting-caliber player on the final cut down is virtually impossible (unless they swing a significant trade). Don't be surprised if there's some movement at tight end. Davis is strictly a blocker and Bostick has only nine career catches. They have only four healthy corners.

Jets' moves: Waived FB Tommy Bohanon, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, WR/KR Jeremy Ross, WR Chandler Worthy, TE Jace Amaro, TE Zach Sudfeld, TE Wes Saxton, RB Antone Smith, Craig Watts, G Mike Liedtke, DE Claude Pelon, DE Tarow Barney, LB Trevor Reilly, LB Freddie Bishop, LB Taiwan Jones, CB Darryl Morris, CB Dee Milliner, CB Kevin Short, CB Bryson Keeton, S Doug Middleton.