The NY Jets’ roster has a number of players who haven’t lived up to their salaries.
NY Jets‘ general manager Joe Douglas has done his best to reshape the roster to his liking in the little over a year that he has been with the organization.
But given that he’s had just one offseason to right the wrongs of the previous regime, the roster is clearly still a work in progress.
Douglas did his part to ensure that the Jets didn’t overpay for any free agents in the offseason. Instead of targeting the bigger names on the market like Jadeveon Clowney and Byron Jones, Douglas steered clear and opted for better value deals.
In many ways, it was the complete opposite of everything Jets fans had become accustomed to over the past few years.
Former general manager Mike Maccagnan was known for going on shopping sprees in free agency and the effects of his heavy spending are still being felt on the roster today.
In fact, all three players we’re going to discuss today were products of Macagnan in one way or another. No surprise there.
From aging veterans no longer living up to their contracts to disappointing free-agent signings, we’re going to take a look at the three most overpaid players on the Jets’ current roster.
Let’s jump into it.
Next: 3. Brian Winters
3. Brian Winters, OG, NY Jets
Brian Winters was once one of the team’s most reliable offensive pieces — an above-average starter on the offensive line. But age and injuries have taken their toll and those times seem like a distant memory.
Now, Winters is fighting for a starting job in the summer while simultaneously clinging on to his roster spot. His status with the Jets has certainly seen better days.
Nonetheless, there’s something to be said about his longevity with the organization. A third-round pick back in 2013, Winters is currently the longest-tenured member of the team having started 79 games over seven years.
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Winters was gifted a sizable four-year, $29 million extension back in January of 2017 and he’s set to play the final year of that extension in 2020. He’s due to make just shy of $7.3 million this season, which is certainly a lot given that he might not even start.
Of course, the Jets could simply cut ties with Winters with no dead cap if they wanted to. And perhaps that’s the route they take — or perhaps they keep him around as valuable, albeit expensive depth.
Either way, it seems pretty clear that he isn’t worth what he’s being paid at this stage of his career. And for that reason, he deserves a spot on this list.
Next: 2. Henry Anderson
2. Henry Anderson, DL, NY Jets
Henry Anderson proved to be one of the true surprises from the 2018 season racking up a career-high seven sacks and playing like one of the team’s best defensive linemen seemingly out of nowhere.
Given that the Jets gave up just a seventh-round pick to acquire him that offseason, the trade seemed like a stroke of genius on the part of Maccagnan. Unfortunately, his genius quickly turned into a major mistake.
Anderson had a lengthy injury history prior to arrival in New York and had essentially been nothing more than a rotational run-stopper up until that point. Yet, despite only one year of above-average production, Maccagnan decided to reward him with a hefty extension.
A three-year, $25.2 million contract with a whopping $17 million in guaranteed money was given to Anderson in the offseason. It seemed like an egregious overreaction at the time and that’s exactly what it looks like with the benefit of hindsight.
Anderson started 13 games in 2019 but failed to make much of an impact recording just one sack and earning a lowly 55.8 Pro Football Focus grade which ranked him as the worst defensive lineman on the team.
It’s safe to say that he didn’t live up to his near $8 million cap hit.
If the Jets had an out on his contract after one year they would have certainly taken it. But because of the massive amount of guaranteed money he received, they’ll have to wait until after 2020 to cut ties with him.
Regardless, it’s unlikely that Anderson reaches the heights of his 2018 season meaning that his $8.3 million cap hit in 2020 is certainly an overpay.
Next: 1. Le'Veon Bell
1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, NY Jets
Before the angry mob starts to form in the comment section, hear me out on this one.
No one is saying that Le’Veon Bell isn’t still a top-tier running back in the NFL. No one is saying that his struggles last year were all or even mostly his fault. No one is saying that Le’Veon Bell isn’t a great player.
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But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t incredibly overpaid right now.
Bell rushed for a career-low 789 yards and three touchdowns last season on an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry which ranked dead last among qualified backs in the NFL.
There are a variety of reasons for his struggles ranging from an awful offensive line to an inept coaching staff. But that doesn’t change the fact that his production didn’t come close to matching his massive salary in 2019.
Bell is set to make over $15 million in 2020 — by far the largest cap hit for a running back in the NFL. Behind him, the next highest cap hit in 2020 will be David Johnson’s $11 million.
He’ll be the highest-paid running back in 2020, yet statically he was the worst running back last season. No matter the cause, there’s only one word to describe that — overpaid.
Running backs are dependent on their situation more so than any other position, and it’s not really close. Even the best of running backs can’t make an impact if their offensive line and coaching staff fail to do their jobs.
Bell found that out the hard way in 2019 and it remains to be seen if things will change this season. But until then, Bell is unquestionably the most overpaid player on the roster.
The production simply doesn’t match the salary.