Yes, it’s true, the 2013 NFL year isn’t officially over yet. But, for the Jets, the 2014 offseason has officially begun.
The Jets have a high number of unrestricted free agents this year (17) but that gives them the flexibility to use the cap to their advantage. Unfortunately, they can’t keep everybody.
Here are five Jets that I think will either not be resigned or will be relieved of their duties going into the 2014 season.
Winslow was an effective target for Geno Smith early on but he was suspended for performance enhancing drugs for 4 games and never re-developed the rapport with Smith. He had two touchdowns before his 4-week suspension and zero after. It wouldn’t cost a lot to keep Winslow but the Jets figure to younger in the draft at the tight end position.
Probably a no-brainer for Idzik and Ryan. It appears on the surface that Holmes was a good teammate but he carries a $20M cap number over the next two seasons and the Jets figure to unload that number. Holmes had another injured-plagued season. He finished the season with 23 receptions and only 1 TD, certainly unacceptable for a $10M-per-year-receiver.
Another no-brainer for Idzik/Ryan brain trust as Sanchez carries a heavy number towards the cap ($13.1M in 2014). He figures to be cut. I wouldn’t discount them signing him back as a backup after he gets a chance in Free Agency, but he’ll more-than-likely look to go elsewhere and compete for a starting job, with Houston or Oakland making the most sense.
What else can you say? He was given every opportunity to be the starter but he just hasn’t caught on. He was surpassed by rookie guard Brian Winters after four games. I’m not even sure Ducasse can provide depth at the position. Yeah, he’s that bad. He will probably get another shot (Gholston did) but I don’t think it’s with the Jets.
Pace had a career year with 55 tackles and 10 sacks, the highest sack total of his career. I never thought I would be saying that. I was not impressed with him over the past few seasons but he really played motivated in 2013 (after getting no bites in free agency). Unfortunately for him, it may be too late. He will be 34 next season and not sure how much he has left. The Jets need another young defender who can compliment OLB Quinton Coples. They will also have Antwan Barnes returning to action.
Honorable Mention: Ed Reed
Reed came in late in the season and played fairly well. He was responsible for giving up a few big plays but he also made a few big plays in the form of 3 interceptions. As long as he isn’t costly, there is a chance the Jets bring him back. Head coach Rex Ryan credited Reed with the late-season development of CB Dee Milliner. The safety position is a position of concern in my eyes, I could see the Jets moving on and getting younger at the position, but we’ll see.
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