NY Jets: 4 current starters who won’t be on the team in 2021

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets likely won’t see these four current starters return in 2021.

The NY Jets are going to completely overhaul their roster in the offseason. That’s just what you do when your team is winless heading into the 11th week of the season.

There’s a good chance the Jets finish with an 0-16 record and it’s all but confirmed that they will be selecting within the top two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

With a team that bad, there are generally few saving graces.

For that reason, up to 50 percent or more of the current roster might not return in 2021. That goes for both the depth players and starters on the team.

General manager Joe Douglas is going to continue doing his part to shape the roster to his liking and rid the organization of much of the talent from the previous regime.

But of the 22 current starters, which players might not even be on the roster in 2021? We take a look at four starters whose future with the organization is likely already sealed.

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

4. Jordan Jenkins, OLB, NY Jets

Of the four players on this list, Jordan Jenkins likely stands the best chance of returning in 2021. But even if he does, it certainly shouldn’t be in the same role he’s in now.

After totaling 15 sacks over the last two seasons, Jenkins entered the 2020 offseason looking to cash-in on his first trip to free agency. However, his market unsurprisingly didn’t develop the way he had hoped.

Jenkins wound up returning to the Jets on a cheap one-year, $5 million contract hedging his future on a standout 2020 season. But instead of putting together a strong season, he’s played arguably his worst football as a professional.

The 26-year-old has just nine solo tackles and one sack in nine games despite playing well over 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in 2020. In fact, Jenkins played a whopping 90 percent of defensive snaps in Week 9 despite the fact that he’s touched the quarterback just three times this year.

Jenkins’ 55.0 Pro Football Focus grade is on track for close to the worst grade of his career and is ranked 90th out of 109 qualified edge defenders.

If he does return in 2021, expect it to be on an even cheaper contract and as more of a reserve player. But it certainly seems unlikely that he’s back with the team next season.

Next: 3. Bradley McDougald

NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bradley McDougald, S, NY Jets

The Jamal Adams trade is looking better and better by the week, but that’s not necessarily due to the performance of the player they received in the deal, veteran safety Bradley McDougald.

McDougald started the first seven games of the 2020 season before landing on injured reserve. And his play during the first half of the season was a large reason behind the Jets’ defensive struggles.

The 30-year-old defensive back received an abysmal 41.0 PFF grade which ranks 85th out of only 88 qualified safeties. By those standards, he’s not even backup-caliber.

He was equally as ineffective in pass coverage as he was as a run defender with neither grade ranking above 77th at his position. Simply put, he was likely the Jets’ worst starter on defense — and that’s saying a lot.

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McDougald’s contract is up at the end of the season and it wouldn’t make any sense for the Jets to try and re-sign him. Ashtyn Davis has shown promise this season and if the Jets are going to re-sign any safety, it should be Marcus Maye.

It’s very likely that 2020 will be McDougald’s only year with the Jets. But hey, at least they’ll have those two first-round picks to look forward to.

Next: 2. Frank Gore

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NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

2. Frank Gore, RB, NY Jets

The fact that 37-year-old running back Frank Gore is on pace for nearly 200 carries has to be one of the cardinal sins of the Jets’ season.

Gore hasn’t been awful by any means, but he’s hardly done anything to revitalize the Jets’ running game since Le’Veon Bell left. He’s been replacement-caliber at best, and given his age, there’s essentially no chance that he returns in 2021.

In nine games, Gore has rushed for 386 yards on 108 carries for a lackluster 3.6 yards per carry. Some will put his struggles on the offensive line, but the metrics show that the Jets’ running backs have actually underperformed relative to their offensive line play.

Gore is a big reason for that and even if he was playing well, it’s highly unlikely that the Jets would look to bring him back in 2021.

The team hopes that fourth-round rookie La’Mical Perine can be a part of the future at the position — whether in a lead role or as a rotational back. The remaining seven games of the season will be used to determine that.

As for Gore, the Jets will look for a better compliment in the offseason, probably in the form of a veteran free agent like Kenyan Drake or Malcolm Brown.

Gore may be a future Hall of Famer, but he doesn’t have a future with the Jets.

Next: 1. Henry Anderson

NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets

1. Henry Anderson, DL, NY Jets

Of all the bad contracts that former general manager Mike Maccagnan handed out during his time with the organization, the one he gave Henry Anderson has to rank as one of the very worst.

After a breakout 2018 season that saw him finish with seven sacks in his first year with the Jets, Maccagnan decided to sign Anderson to a three-year, $25.2 million contract with a whopping $17 million in guarantees.

This was despite the fact that Anderson had struggled to stay healthy before coming to the Jets and that he was nothing more than a role player when on the field with the Indianapolis Colts.

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It’s unsurprising that his play has regressed back to the mean since that breakout season, but that doesn’t make the sting of his unjustified payday any less harmful.

In the two seasons that have followed, Anderson has put together the two worst campaigns of his NFL career posting consecutive PFF grades of below 60.0. He currently ranks as the 78th overall interior defensive lineman in the NFL out of 121 qualifiers.

The Jets will finally have the chance to get out of Anderson’s contract in the offseason and expect them to take full advantage of it.

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It was a nice story while it lasted, but with just one sack since signing his massive extension, the Jets will certainly move on from Henry Anderson in the offseason.