Ex-USC RB McKnight signs with Jets

Updated: June 22, 2010, 5:11 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

Former USC running back Joe McKnight, who made headlines for the wrong reasons in his first minicamp practice with the New York Jets, has made positive news, signing with the team on Tuesday.

McKnight is the second Jets draft pick to sign, following former Kentucky fullback John Conner (fifth-round pick), who signed a four-year deal on June 4. Still unsigned are former UMass guard Vlad Ducasse (second round) and former Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson (first round).

The Jets are counting on McKnight to compete for playing time as a third-down back and, possibly, as a kick returner. He got off to a lousy start in the first minicamp, vomiting on the field and dropping several passes. He also wasn't happy when he learned that he'd be wearing No. 25, the same number former USC star Reggie Bush wears for the New Orleans Saints. McKnight has grown weary of comparisons to Bush.

The Jets drafted McKnight with the idea of replacing Leon Washington, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks soon after they selected McKnight.

The Jets also waived kicker Jared Ballman, free safety Brannon Condren and defensive tackle Mick Williams.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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