In a made-for-television drama, the New York Jets yesterday released former University of Hawaii offensive lineman Aaron Kia.
"It’s a business," Kia said of being cut. "That’s all it is."
This summer, the Jets are starring in HBO’s "Hard Knocks," a weekly series that documents the behind-the-scenes activities of an NFL team during training camp.
"The cameras are everywhere," said Brashton Satele, a former UH linebacker who is competing for a spot on the Jets’ final roster.
HBO reportedly shot footage of yesterday’s transactions, although it is not known if those scenes will air during Wednesday’s premiere episode.
Kia, who completed his UH eligibility in December, had a tryout with the San Francisco 49ers in May before signing a free-agent contract with the Jets.
Kia started 13 games as a left tackle for the Warriors in 2009, but auditioned as a guard/center with the 49ers. With the Jets, Kia was primarily an offensive tackle.
"He got a lot better after UH," Satele said. "He looks like a pro lineman. He was doing a good job. It was a numbers game."
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, a former first-round pick who recently signed a lucrative contract extension, is the Jets’ starting left tackle. Wayne Hunter, a former UH lineman, is a swing player who can be used as a tackle, guard or goal-line tight end.
Yesterday was an off day for the Jets. But Kia was summoned yesterday morning, and then was told he was being released.
His 24-hour waiver period ends today, and if he is unclaimed, he is free to negotiate with any other NFL team. The free-agent contract he signed with the Jets was contingent on Kia making the team. He will not receive a severance check.
Kia said he will remain in the New York area for another two days to ponder his options. If he does not receive another offer, he will go to San Jose or Las Vegas, where he will pursue other business opportunities.