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Top 10 players that should be cut by Jets in 2017

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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new york jets

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On the New York Jets, who should stay and who should go?  That’s the million-dollar question, or in this case, multi-million dollar question. Here are the top 10 players that should be cut heading into the new year.

According to USA Today, the NFL salary cap is supposedly going to be between $166M and $170M in the 2017 season.  The New York Jets have a projected cap space of -$2.6M based on that minimum.

It won’t be as tricky as the 2016 cuts because they have a lot of players who have $0 in dead money.  However, the ones that have dead money have underperformed to the point where it doesn’t matter.

Offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson‘s cap number is no longer haunting the Jets, as his dead money will no longer factor.  That’s a good thing.

They have 15 players that will count at $5M+ against the 2017 salary cap.  Seven of them will have a cap savings of $5M+ if they are released.  It’s an unfortunate part of the business.  There can be salary restructuring, but that’s just moving money around to a later date, and it can still count in some ways.

The Jets will need to shore up some holes on the team on both sides of the football, and they will need to pay their rookies.  So that means some veterans will have to move on.

As Fox Sports NFL analyst Mike Lombardi, a former NFL general manager, has said on FS1 programming, the hardest thing to do is evaluate your own team.  General manager Mike Maccagnan has work cut out for him this offseason, and he may have to make some tough decisions.

The toughest realization may come at number 10.  So let’s evaluate the possibilities with the top 10 cuts the Jets should make to put themselves in a better situation come next season.

Next: 10. Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall

fantasy football
fantasy football

Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) catches a pass during the pre-game warmups for a game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

10. Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall

Reportedly, Marshall had a tirade in the locker room at halftime of the game against the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve.  Who can blame him?  The Jets certainly can.

There are reports he lost his cool.  He’s frustrated, and he should be.  He was so close to a playoff appearance last season, and he sees this team blowing up right before his eyes. Also, it’s a culmination of losing and blowing up like Mount Vesuvius.  Marshall has endured a lot of losing in his career, despite his immense talent.

He has had only three seasons where his team finished above .500, three other seasons at .500 and five seasons below .500.  His teams’ total records are 82-94. He’s been squeaky clean in New York as far as off the field is concerned, but the Jets may start to see diminishing return from Marshall on the field.

While he had a tremendous season in 2016, that sandwiched in between two seasons in which he had less than 800 yards receiving, a catch percentage of 51.2% (catches per target), 11 total receiving touchdowns and 10 dropped passes. Aside from his stats, there’s another key number the Jets may look at, $0.  His entire $7.5M salary would come off the books with no dead money.  When you combine that with Marshall’s third-lowest yardage output, the second lowest number of touchdowns and his worst career catch rate, it may be time for the Jets to let him go.

Next: 9. Wide Receiver Eric Decker

seahawks vs jets
seahawks vs jets

Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) jumps to make a catch while being defended by Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28) during the second half at New Era Field. The Jets beat the Bills 37 to 31. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

9. Wide Receiver Eric Decker

Decker is still a good NFL receiver, and he’s in his prime.  He’s had some nicks and bumps along the way that come with the territory.  However, his hip and shoulder surgery are problematic.

First of all, he did come limping into the NFL after tearing a ligament in his foot as a senior at the University of Minnesota.  He’s had some knee issues, and now he has the hip and shoulder issues this offseason.

He still runs his routes very well and he has soft hands, which makes him a very reliable target for a young quarterback like Bryce Petty if the Jets choose to start Petty.  The problem is his potential availability.

Will Decker be ready at the start of the 2017 season?  If not, how much time will he miss?  This may lead the Jets to cut him.  The Jets will get $5.75M in cap relief by cutting him, and if he’s going to miss what they deem as a significant enough of a portion of the season it could lead them to cut him.  For instance, if he misses four games, is the $8.75M total cap hit worth it?  What about half the season?

Decker is a glue guy, but it may come down to money and how much he can perform in 2017.

Next: 8. Offensive Tackle Ryan Clady

New York Jets
New York Jets

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Ryan Clady (78) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

8. Offensive Tackle Ryan Clady

In 2015, Clady missed the entire season after tearing his ACL during organized team activities.  Despite this, the Jets gave him a two-year deal in the 2016 offseason.  He played for the entire season last year, but he ended up tearing his rotator cuff.

That means in the last three seasons he will miss 23 games.  Experts will tell you the best ability is availability, and Clady hasn’t been available much in the last three seasons.

He has a hefty contract in 2017.  His cap number is $10.5M, but the Jets can shave $10M by cutting him.

However, the Jets do have options for Clady.  They could move him to right tackle where there’s less one-on-one action and working in tandem with the right guard.  Then, they could draft an offensive lineman and insert him at left tackle, say Cam Robinson.

However, they may choose to cut him simply because of the money.

Next: 7. Linebacker Erin Henderson

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon (26) runs with the ball as New York Jets linebacker Erin Henderson (58) defends during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon (26) runs with the ball as New York Jets linebacker Erin Henderson (58) defends during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon (26) runs with the ball as New York Jets linebacker Erin Henderson (58) defends during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

7. Linebacker Erin Henderson

Henderson was just a guy this season.  Before he ended up on the non-football injury list, he only had 19 combined solo tackles and assists.

He’s been on the NFL list since October with an undisclosed injury.  His absence presents the Jets with depth issues at the linebacker position and may have been the reason they switched to a base four-man front early on.

Henderson’s lack of production, combined with his $2.75M cap savings (with $0 in dead money) should lead the Jets to say sayonara.

In his two seasons with the Jets, he definitely hasn’t been the same player he was in Minnesota.  His 45 solo tackles in two seasons were just one more than his entire 2011 season with the Vikings.

Next: 6. Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins

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fantasy football

Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) on a catch against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (25) during the second quarter at Levi

6. Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Austin who?  That’s what not only Jets fans might be thinking, but NFL fans as well.  We thought he might be a good security blanket for Jameis Winston.  However, he has turned out to be a glorified lineman in the NFL.

His NFL.com scouting report seems to have been wrong:

"An intriguing height-weight-speed prospect, Seferian-Jenkins has all the tools to be a legitimate No. 1 tight end in the NFL, though he has to maintain focus and consistency and continue improving as a blocker"

He has improved his blocking skills, but that’s all.  He’s only been targeted 96 times in 25 career games, which is approximately four times per game.  In fact, he has 13 games in which he was targeted three times or fewer.

Seferian-Jenkins has a price-tag of $1,136,582 that can come off the books, with zero dead money.  This makes him one of the prime candidates for being cut.

Next: 5. Offensive Tackle Breno Giacomini

ny jets
ny jets

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tackle Breno Giacomini (68) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22 to 17. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

5. Offensive Tackle Breno Giacomini

Continuity is the most important factor in good offensive line play.  It is the most important unit on the field, and they get the least attention.

However, when pieces are missing, it is most noticeable.  Giacomini was a fifth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2008 NFL Draft.  In 2008-10 he played a grand total of one game, probably due to being a developmental player and not injury.

He got better and became a capable NFL right tackle by 2011, and in 2012-15 he played in all 16 games three times and missed seven games in Seattle’s run to a Super Bowl title.

One of the knocks on him coming out of the combine was that he lacked explosiveness.  Therefore, injuries to his back and calf are alarming.

The fact that his cap hit is $4.5M in 2017 with only $625k in dead money also hurts his cause of continuing with the Jets.  They can’t have offensive line depth issues and hope Giacomini is 100 percent and stays that way throughout the 2017 season.

Next: 4. Center Nick Mangold

new york jets
new york jets

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Center Nick Mangold

Mangold has been as tough as nails in his career.  From 2006-15 he missed only three games.  By season’s end, he will have missed eight games this year.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. He tried to tough it out and play through the pain, but the team had to put him on injured reserve, effectively ending his season.

Mangold may very well be the second-best center in the history of the team, but this business is a what have you done for me lately one.  Unfortunately for Mangold, that could mean the chopping block for him.

He’s in the final year of his contract, and he’s due $9,075,000 in 2017.  However, with no dead money on the deal, it will be easy for the Jets to say goodbye. The problem with big men and injuries in the NFL is that they seem to linger.  When you’re the size of a lineman (defensive or offensive), and you’re battling in the trenches down in and down out, once you get hurt, there may be no turning back.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life in the NFL.  Mangold was great for a long time, and he was rewarded for it, but the Jets can’t hold on to the past while looking toward the future.

Next: 3. Linebacker David Harris

bengals vs jets
bengals vs jets

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

3. Linebacker David Harris

Let’s face it.  Harris was probably only on this team mostly due to money and possibly partially due to them needing a veteran presence in the locker room as well for the young linebackers.

More from The Jet Press

This year, Harris’s contract was for $7.5M.  If they had cut him, it would’ve cost the team in its entirety in dead money and gotten them zero savings off the salary cap.

However, this season the numbers are flipped.  If they cut him it will save them $6.5M, and there will be a $0 cap hit.

He’s 32 years old, and he appears to have lost some of what made him special.  His production has slipped over the last two season.

His sacks have gone from 5.5 in 2014 to 5 this season, and his total tackles have gone from 124 (total and assists) to 86.

When you combine the age factor, production, and salary, he’s got to go.

Next: 2. Cornerback Darrelle Revis

2. Cornerback Darrelle Revis

Father time always wins.  Unfortunately for Revis, he came knocking on the door earlier than him wanted or expected.

He played one way his entire career, full throttle.  He put the petal to the metal and floored it until he couldn’t anymore. Revis has definitely lost a step.  He can no longer play with the top wide receivers in this league, and it’s because his body won’t let him.

He even said so to Gary Myers of the New York Post.

"“Because I’m old. You have bumps in the road. Are you going to see a one catch for one yard game? Probably not. I was 23, 24 years old then. That’s just not where it’s at. Can I execute better and do things better? That’s going to come. That’s definitely going to come down the road.”"

He’s going to cost the Jets $8M, regardless.  However, it may behoove them to take a look at the $7,333,333 cap savings.

Revis isn’t worth the $15.3M cap hit even if they do move him to safety.  It’s time to cut bait with the aging veteran.

Next: 1. Defensive End Sheldon Richardson

new york jets
new york jets

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Defensive End Sheldon Richardson

There’s a prevailing philosophy up in the little corner of the northeast that it’s better to get rid of someone one year too early than one year too late.  In the case of Richardson, it’s one year too late.

They could’ve definitely gotten more for him in January than they will in the upcoming offseason, even with the pending charges that went down in Tennessee.  The Jets called the Dallas Cowboys in an attempt to trade him, but the Cowboys declined.  As of right now the offer is unknown.

If a team like the Cowboys, who were in need of a pass rusher, declined the Jets offer, it will likely take too much for a team to take him off their hands.  So, in essence, Richardson’s trade value is nothing.

Some of the transgressions may be innocuous, but when you pile them together, they show a pattern of behavior.  First, he fails a drug test that gets him suspended (only multiple failures earn suspensions).  Then he fled the police going 143 MPH with a 12-year-old in the vehicle, and according to police the car had the smell of marijuana (the substance Richardson was suspended for), and then the Snapchat video, which on the surface would’ve been just two guys joking around in the locker room, but on top of everything else, it warrants consideration for cutting.

Next: Suggested New Year’s resolutions for staff of the Jets

He hid the speeding violation from the Jets too.  This after saying that he took responsibility for his actions and his name wouldn’t end up on the news again. He knew his name would be in the news again.  The Jets have little to no choice but to move on once and for all.

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