Jets rookie Jachai Polite attempts to rebound from $10 million slide


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- When Jachai Polite announced he was leaving the University of Florida for the NFL, he did so with a letter to "Gator Nation" on Twitter. In addition to the obligatory thank-yous to school, team and family, he vowed, "I can't wait to prove to NFL teams that I can be and will be the best defensive lineman in the NFL."
The tweet was time-stamped Dec. 31, 2018, 2:42 p.m. If that was Polite's New Year's resolution, he failed.
In a span of four months, Polite went from a potential first-round NFL draft pick to the third round, 68th overall, where the New York Jets -- desperate for an edge rusher -- decided his September-to-December performance was strong enough to reconcile what occurred from January to April. By his own admission, he flunked the pre-draft process, costing himself millions. Specifically, the fall cost him at least $10 million in guaranteed money, based on the pre-scouting combine belief by many talent evaluators that he would have been picked in the bottom third of the first round.