FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets are giving Austin Seferian-Jenkins a chance to redeem himself off the field and get his NFL career back on track.
The talented but troubled tight end was claimed off waivers Monday from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who cut him last week after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence.
Seferian-Jenkins, in his third NFL season, was a second-round draft pick out of the University of Washington in 2014. He had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown in two games this season, and has 45 career receptions for 603 yards and seven TDs.
To make room on the active roster, the Jets waived linebacker Julian Stanford.
The Florida Highway Patrol said in a news release last Friday that Seferian-Jenkins was driving between 75 and 80 mph on Interstate 275 when his vehicle cut in front of a trooper’s cruiser and weaved back and forth. Sgt. Steve Gaskins said Seferian-Jenkins was charged with DUI and violation of an ignition interlock device restriction from an arrest in Washington in 2013.
Seferian-Jenkins refused a breath test at the Hillsborough County Jail and was released by the Buccaneers later that day.
“We are very disappointed in today’s news,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement last Friday. “After careful consideration, we felt this was the right decision at this time.”
Seferian-Jenkins could face a suspension as discipline by the NFL for possibly violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
The 6-foot-5 Seferian-Jenkins, who turns 24 on Thursday, could potentially help the Jets in the red zone, where the team has struggled this season. New York is 6 for 16 on scoring touchdowns inside the opponent’s 20 in three games.
However, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey rarely uses traditional tight ends in the passing game. With the addition of Seferian-Jenkins, the Jets now have four tight ends on the roster with Kellen Davis, Brandon Bostick and Braedon Bowman — and none has any catches this season.
Last season, tight ends had only eight receptions, with Jeff Cumberland catching five passes and Davis three.
AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Florida, contributed.