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New York Jets Offseason Roster Decisions Primer

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By Vincent Fodera @Fodera80

Joe Douglas enters this offseason in a strange situation. He already has a full season as a GM under his belt, yet this will be his first offseason at the helm of an NFL Franchise. Thanks to the unorthodox timing of his hiring, Douglas receives the benefit of a full year of review on his predecessors work before having to actually make choices to support his own vision, gifting him the opportunity connect himself to players on the roster he may not have, if he had been hired after the 2019 season ended. With 30 impending Free Agents ready to leave the roster come March, Douglas will surely be thankful for the extended time he’s had to evaluate the roster. Let’s take a look at the players Joe Douglas will soon have to make a decision on.

The Starters

WR Robby Anderson - Anderson has been one of the top talents on the team the past few years and will be a high-priced commodity come Spring. The soon-to-be 27-year old deep threat is expected to fetch a contract upwards of $12M per year. He’s been a favorite target of QB Sam Darnold and is one of the few playmakers on the roster. It would be a risk to let Anderson walk this offseason, considering how hard he will be to replace. Is it really in the best interest of your young, developing QB to be taking away the few weapons he has? Maybe Joe Douglas should place a call to Mike Tannenbaum and ask how Mark Sanchez responded when he let Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, and most of the offensive line go without replacing them?

LT Kelvin Beachum - Beachum has been the definition of “Serviceable” in his time with the Jets. He won’t convince you that he’s an All-Pro, but he’s far from a liability, and has likely been the most consistent and solid piece of the Jets OL for the latter half of this decade. If his price tag isn’t driven up by an especially LT-Needy team, it may be wise to bring him back on a short-term deal to mitigate against the chances of missing out on an OT early in the draft or Free Agency.

C Ryan Kalil - Tasked with finding a Center late in the summer due to his predecessors neglect towards the position, Joe Doglas signed the former Pro Bowler Kalil out of retirement in a last ditch effort to solidify the position. Kalil never really got up to speed, it was a valiant attempt, but this experiment is over. Kalil is likely to retire again, and should stay put. OLB Jordan Jenkins - This may be the most difficult decision Douglas has to make as far as Free Agents go. On one hand, Jenkins has been a rock solid contributor to the defense and has seen consistintent development each year in the league. On the other hand, he’s not the pass rushing OLB this defense sorely needs, and are his edge-setting skills enough to warrant the steep pay hike he’s in line for coming off a rookie salary? I think this one comes down to how replaceable Douglas determines his production to be. 2019 Rookie Blake Cashman has the speed to play on the outside, can he step into that role in 2020?

CB Brian Poole - The Jets got a true bargain in Poole for 2019. Though he played in the slot, he was easily their best CB and is in line for a hefty raise. He will likely be looking for a deal comparable to Denver’s Bryce Callahan’s 3 Year $21M contract. Considering how utterly destitute the rest of the Jets CB room is, it would likely be wise to look long and hard into what it would take to have Poole return. P Lac Edwards - Edwards has been an above-average punter in his time with the Jets and ST Coordinator Brant Boyer has been one of the best in the business. Punters generally aren’t very expensive, and considering the Jets Offensive Woes under Adam Gase last year, it’d be smart to have a reliable Punter on the roster.

The Part-Timers

WR Demaryius Thomas - Thomas was a serviceable contributor to the WR corps after Quincy Enunwa went down for the year, but he’s on the downslope of his career. It’s likely the Jets look to get younger depth at this position. S Rontez Miles - Miles has been a core special-teamer and primary backup for the Jets since 2013 making him one of the longest tenured Jets on the roster. Unfortunately, this may be the end of the line for Miles. He’s been pretty beat up by injuries and will be 31 for the upcoming season. RB Ty Montgomery - After a stellar preseason that put dreams in Jets fan’s heads of how Adam Gase may use him and LeVeon Bell in tandem to confuse defenses, Montgomery was pretty seldom used during the year. That lack of usage suggest he likely won’t return. G Alex Lewis - Lewis earned 12 starts this year as the Jets constantly reshuffled their OL. Depending on his price tag, he may be worth bringing back as a depth piece behind what hopefully will be a new starting pair of Guards. RT Brandon Shell - Shell began his career looking like a potential Day 3 steal for the Jets, however that momentum petered out this year. He will likely be looking for a chance to start and it may be time for a change of scenery. RB Bilal Powell - Powell was a late re-signing in 2019 after suffering what looked to be a possible career-ending neck injury in 2018. He’s currently the longest-tenured Jet on the roster and still showed some juice in limited carries last year. For the right price, he should be brought back as one of the few veteran leaders in a young locker room, especially on a roster with paltry depth at Running Back behind LeVeon Bell, who has been rumored to be on the trading block this off-season. CB Maurice Canady - Canady was brought on mid-season as the Jets CB depth deteriorated to an embarrassing level. He did an admirable job being thrust into a part-time starting role off the street. If he can be had near the veteran’s minimum with the promise at a chance to start next year, he could be a nice pick-up off of the scrap heap. LB Neville Hewitt - The Jets suffered an unprecedented amount of injuries to their Linebacking core this year. They actually had relatively decent depth at the position on paper, but no one prepares for losing their top 4 or 5 options at a position. Hewitt served as very good replacement in a hard spot, proving his worth as a role player. DE Brandon Copeland - Copeland missed the first 4 games of the year due to suspension, coming off a career 2018 where he had 5 sacks in a very limited role. Douglas must decide whether to scrap 2019 as a down year for Copeland and trust the 2018 tape or move on.

The Back Ups

QB Trevor Siemian - Siemian survived less than one whole football this year after being knocked out for the season in his Week 2 start in place of an ill Sam Darnold. There’s nothing to suggest he can’t still be a good backup, but this relationship may be over anyway. QB David Fales - Fales followed Adam Gase from Chicago to Miami, and then Miami to New York. Obviously, Gase ha some fondness for Fales. He has a chance to stick around at least for familiarty’s sake. LB’s Albert McClellan and Paul Worrilow - Neither of these players made much of an impact this year. They were emergency depth signings in an injury plagued year. Look for their roster spots to be open next year. OL’s Tom Compton and Brent Qvale - Compton was a 2019 depth addition who played sparingly, while Qvale was a developmental project from a former regime that never panned out to be much more than a low-end Swing Tackle. They’re likely gone, unless they come back on super cheap deals to serve as camp depth that can be easily cut if they don’t show improvement. TE Daniel Brown - Brown had a nice year for a bottom-of-the roster player. With Hernon, Griffin, and Wesco on the roster already for 2020, he’ll likely leave in search of an opportunity with a cleaner window.

The Restricted Free Agents

LB James Burgess - Burgess followed Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams from Cleveland, and that familiarity sure paid off once he was thrust into a starting role at Inside Linebacker. Burgess filled in nearly without a hitch, and should be a priority to keep in Green and White for depth sake. CB Arthur Maulet - Maulet’s signing this summer was one Joe Douglas’s first as GM. Initially it was looked at as camp body signing, but the Jets lack of depth forced Maulet into a part time starting role. MAulet performed about as well as can be expected, and should be worth keeping around for depth as the CB room is rebuilt. OL Leo Koloamatangi - Likely not a name any Jets fan really knows, he spent the year on the bench and the practice squad. It’s not likely Koloamatangi is a priority. LB B.J. Bello - Bello was another emergency depth signing at the Linebacker position this year. His youth may garner him a secondary look next year. WR Josh Malone - Malone was a former 4th round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. He has some athletic upside and may be had a veteran’s minimum to compete for a bottom of the roster spot.

The Exclusive Rights Free Agents

LB Frankie Luvu, K Sam Ficken, and CB Bennett Jackson - As ERFA’s, there’s no financial reason not to tender these players for the super low cost of $585K. Each player has their merits, and at the very least deserves a shot in camp for 2020, even if only for depth’s sake.

On The Chopping Block?

Joe Douglas will have an estimated $51M in cap space to work with this Spring. While that’s a respectable number, the ever-climbing prices of NFL Free Agents these days will make it hard to add more than one or two impact players in addition to depth. With that said, the Jets gave a handful of contracts on the books that can be cut with little or no dead money, belonging to players who have not performed up to par. OG Brian Winters has been a regular on the Jets offensive line for years. He looked to be developing into a very good player and earned himself an extension, but since has not lived up to that billing. He can be cut for a cap savings of $7.2M with no dead cap. CB Darrtl Roberts was rewarded for his good play in 2017 and 2018 with a new deal in 2019, but his play declined massively this year. Roberts can be cut for a cap savings of $5.8M with no dead cap. CB Trumaine Johnson’s contract has been a disaster for the Jets and will likely go own as one of their biggest ever Free Agents busts. If the Jets cut Johnson’s $15M dollar salary, they will be hit with $12M is dead money, reulting in only a $3M cap savings. They can wait until next year where the dead cap hit will be much less, but no one would blame Douglas if he wanted to just cut ties now. LB Avery Williamson missed this season with an ACL tear, but the idea of him returning with a healthy C.J. Mosely in 2020 has many fans very excited. However, the team has the option of cutting Williamson for a $6.5M savings. WR and Core Special Teamer Josh Bellamy didn't have much of an impact this season, and his ouster would result in a $1.3 cap savings. Lastly, OL Jonotthan Harrison played a pivotal role as the primary backup Center and Guard, eventually starting at Center to end the season. He’s been a valuable depth piece, but can also be cut dead cap-free for a gain of $2.4M in cap space.

The Current 2020 Roster

As currently constituted, the following players are under contract for the Jets in 2020:


Sam Darnold - QB

Mike White - QB

Le'Veon Bell - RB

Trenton Cannon - RB

Josh Adams - RB

Kenneth Dixon - RB

Jalin Moore - RB

Chris Herndon - TE

Ryan Griffin - TE

Trevon Wesco - TE

Ross Travis - TE

Jamison Crowder - WR

Quincy Enunwa - WR

Josh Bellamy - WR

Braxton Berrios - WR

Vyncint Smith - WR

Jehu Chesson - WR

Keon Hatcher - WR

Jeff Smith - WR

Chuma Edoga - T

Conor McDermott - T

Benjamin Braden - T

Brian Winters - G

Jonotthan Harrison - C

Brad Lundblade - C

Jimmy Murray - C

Quinnen Williams - DT

Steve McLendon - DT

Foley Fatukasi - DT

Henry Anderson - DE

Nathan Shepherd - DE

Jordan Willis - DE

Charles Tapper - DE

John Franklin-Myers - DE

Kyle Phillips - DE

Ahmad Gooden - DE

Bronson Kaufusi - DE

Corbin Kaufusi - DE

Wyatt Ray - DE

Tarell Basham - OLB

Blake Cashman - ILB

C.J. Mosley - ILB

Avery Williamson - ILB

Harvey Langi - ILB

Trumaine Johnson - CB

Darryl Roberts - CB

Nate Hairston - CB

Blessuan Austin - CB

Kyron Brown - CB

Marcus Maye - FS

Blake Countess - FS

Jamal Adams - SS

Matthias Farley - SS

Brett Maher - K

Ian Berryman - P

Thomas Hennessy - LS

Be on the lookout for new articles previewing what the Jets may look to do in Free Agency and the 2020 NFL Draft!



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