NY Jets: 5 starters who won’t be on the team in 2020

NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets are expected to experience plenty of roster turnover this offseason. Let’s take a look at five 2019 starters who will likely be gone in 2020.

The NY Jets are just a couple of weeks away from kickstarting what should be a very eventful offseason. From free agency to the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jets will be looking to make a number of notable additions to their roster.

And with those additions come departures.

After all, there are only 53 players on a roster with just 22 starters. Bringing in new roster members or starters only kicks the incumbent to the curb.

And after many of the Jets’ original starters disappointed in 2019, rest-assured the team will be looking to make plenty of changes in the offseason. From upgrading the offensive line to adding more weapons on offense, expect the Jets to be very busy in the coming weeks.

That activity could be in the form of signings and draft picks, but it will also likely come in the form of releases. On top of that, some players the Jets just won’t re-sign.

With that, here are five 2019 starters who won’t be on the Jets’ roster in 2020.

Next: 5. Ryan Kalil/Kelechi Osemele

NY Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

5. Ryan Kalil/Kelechi Osemele

We’re going to combine this into a two-for-one entry given that the two combined played almost a full NFL season together. Moreover, they seem to fall into the same category of “stop-gap veteran offensive lineman who failed miserably in 2019.”

Both Ryan Kalil and Kelechi Osemele came to the Jets with a certain degree of fanfare given their seven combined Pro Bowl appearances and three All-Pro honors. However, it soon became abundantly clear that neither was the player they used to be.

The Jets traded for Osemele in March of last offseason exchanging late-round picks in a low-risk, high-reward trade. Kalil, on the other hand, was coaxed out of retirement in August and given little time to gain chemistry with his new teammates.

Still, there was optimism that both Osemele and Kalil could play at least close to their previous Pro Bowl levels and elevate a concerning offensive line.

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But by the midway point of the season, both were out of the starting lineup.

Osemele played just three games before an injury and subsequent dispute with ownership led to his abrupt departure from the team. Meanwhile, Kalil struggled immensely in the seven games he started before an injury of his own ended his season.

Their replacements each arguably fared better than they did — further proof of their ineptitude.

Osemele was released back in October while Kalil is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Kalil might be headed back to retirement and Osemele might not be too far behind him.

Either way, there’s essentially no chance that either suits up for the Jets again.

Next: 4. Trumaine Johnson

NY Jets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

4. Trumaine Johnson

When all is set and done, there may not be a bigger free-agent bust in Jets’ history than Trumaine Johnson. In fact, you could make the argument that he’s one of the worst free-agent signings in the history of the NFL.

He’s been that bad.

The good news is that the Jets’ nightmare is expected to be over before long as the team is likely to release Johnson prior to the start of the league year. The bad news is that they’ll still be on the hook for $12 million in dead cap next season.

But even so, it’ll be worth the $3 million that they save.

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Johnson was a disaster in his first season with the team back in 2018, but the Jets hoped he would turn things around in 2019. That was a horrible strategy on paper and somehow even worse in execution.

The 30-year-old would play just seven games — starting five of them — before mercifully ending his season on the injured reserve. And given his merciful 53.0 Pro Football Focus grade, it was likely for the best.

Johnson should be released in the coming days and while the Jets will still feel the financial impact of this horrendous signing, at least they won’t have to deal with his atrocious on-field play.

Perhaps another team will give him a shot next season, but expect his new contract to be for considerably less money this time around.

Next: 3. Kelvin Beachum

NY Jets (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

3. Kelvin Beachum

The last few players we discussed won’t be returning to the Jets because of poor play and waning abilities. But that’s not exactly the case with Kelvin Beachum.

Beachum was perhaps the lone bright spot on an appalling Jets offensive line in 2019 finishing with a team-leading 67.1 Pro Football Focus grade, which ranked middle-of-the-pack among left tackles in the NFL.

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Throughout his three-year tenure with the Jets, Beachum has been a high-character, durable, reliable placeholder on the offensive line. He’s won’t be making any Pro Bowls, but he’s a dependable starter and a quality addition to any roster.

However, his time in New York might be coming to an end very shortly.

Beachum will be 31-years-old in June and despite his quality play in 2019, the Jets will still be looking for an upgrade. That upgrade could come via free agency or it could come through the 2020 NFL Draft.

Either way, that player would be viewed as an upgrade both in the short-term and in the long-term. No matter how you slice it, Beachum is not a part of the future. And with the Jets’ plans to reshape their offensive line, Beachum is likely to be a casualty.

There’s still an outside chance he returns on a short-term deal, but it’s much more likely that he’s starting for a new team in 2020.

Next: 2. Brian Winters

NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

2. Brian Winters

At this point, it should be pretty clear what the Jets’ intentions are this offseason. They want to completely remake their offensive line.

Kalil, Osemele, and Beachum won’t be the only 2019 starters who will likely be departing. They could very well be joined by right guard Brian Winters despite the fact that he still has one more year left on his contract.

Winters is one of only three players currently on the roster who were drafted by the Jets and given a second contract — along with Bilal Powell and Quincy Enunwa. That alone is a depressing fact, but it speaks to Winters’ consistency over the years.

The former third-round pick back in 2013 has held down the starting right guard role for the better part of the last seven seasons. And over those years, he’s battled and played through some major injuries — some of which have affected his level of play.

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But whatever the reason for his below-average production, he simply isn’t worth what he’s being paid.

Winters is due to make over $7 million in 2020 — a steep figure given how poorly he has played the last couple of seasons. Now, the Jets could look to cut him and re-sign him to a cheap contract.

But it’s still likely that they just cut ties with him with no cap penalty and let him sign elsewhere.

This one is far from a given considering the other changes that will be happening on the offensive line. And general manager Joe Douglas seemed to speak highly of him just last month.

But the safe bet is on Winters being let go and the Jets upgrading in the offseason.

Next: 1. Robby Anderson

NY Jets (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

1. Robby Anderson

This one hurts probably more so than any other entry on this list. It’s not that Robby Anderson isn’t a very talented, valuable player on the Jets’ offense. It’s not as if he doesn’t make the team better.

But what he’s expected to be paid in the offseason, the Jets just can’t realistically commit to.

Reports have varied regarding what Anderson is due to make on the open market. Some reports earlier in the offseason stated up to $14 million per season while recent reports speculated that the market could be much smaller, akin to maybe $10 million a year.

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The number now seems to have settled at around $12-13 million, but that figure could still rise once the bidding war begins.

And that’s the thing, with so many needs at crucial positions, the Jets could ill-afford to get into a bidding war for Anderson. He’s a good player and a high-end No. 2 receiver, but he’s going to get massively overpaid in free agency.

That’s just the way it works. Good players get paid like great players and great players get paid like superstars. Anderson is a good player who’s about to get great player money.

And Joe Douglas will have no part in that.

The Jets want to keep Anderson around, especially given his chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold. But it just doesn’t seem reasonable.

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And as such, Jets fans should be preparing for a future without Robby Anderson.