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The NY Jets will have quite a few decisions to make this offseason. From the major decision at the quarterback position to free agency to the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets are sure to be active in the coming months.
But before any of that begins, they must handle business internally. They must determine which of their 2020 holdovers will be returning.
The 2020 season wasn’t especially kind to the Jets who remained winless through their first 13 games only to, somewhat magically, pull off two late-season victories to win two of their last three contests.
Nonetheless, a 2-14 record isn’t going to get it done. Far from it.
The Jets’ roster was pretty much what you’d expected from a two-win team last year. Holes at the most important positions, a lack of depth, and the overall absence of talent across the board doomed them to fail from the start.
This offseason, things need to change. The roster needs to change.
That said, there are still a few players the Jets could look to bring back even amidst the expected massive rebuild. They’ve already placed the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye locking him in for at least another year.
But again, this was/is a bad team. The majority of their 19 unrestricted free agents won’t be re-signed this offseason.
Let’s take a look at three somewhat notable players who the Jets won’t be re-signing.
Next: 3. Bradley McDougald
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3. Bradley McDougald, S, NY Jets
Bradley McDougald was essentially a throw-in in the blockbuster offseason trade that sent Jamal Adams to Seattle in exchange for a pair of first-round picks.
But while the Jets will certainly look to make the most of their acquired draft capital, it’s safe to say that McDougald’s time in New York was a bit of a dud.
The veteran safety began the year as one of the team’s starting safeties playing the first seven games before suffering a shoulder injury that cost him the remainder of the season.
And for the Jets, that honestly might have been for the best.
McDougald struggled mightily when on the field finishing with an abysmal 41.0 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked 91st out of just 94 qualified safeties. He was one of the worst safeties in football, and it wasn’t really close.
He was poor in both run defense and pass coverage as neither PFF grade ranked above 80th at his position. McDougald was, for all intents and purposes, arguably the worst starting safety in football.
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While third-round pick Ashtyn Davis was hardly a standout player in his own right, the rookie was a noticeable improvement over his elder teammate.
This one won’t be a difficult decision for the Jets. At 30-years-old and coming off the worst year of his career, the Jets won’t look to bring McDougald back in 2021.
And at this rate, it’s unclear if any team will be willing to give him an offer.
Next: 2. Tarell Basham
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2. Tarell Basham, OLB/DE, NY Jets
Tarell Basham has been a quality rotational pass-rusher for the Jets over the last two years. Originally a third-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, Basham has played his best football with the Jets and developed into a reliable front-seven defender.
But that likely isn’t going to stop him from finding a new place of employment this offseason.
As reported by SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, the Jets are not expected to re-sign Basham this offseason despite two-and-a-half years of quality play. But we likely didn’t need a report to come to that conclusion.
Basham is a fine player who can be a valuable part of a front-seven rotation for another team. But with the Jets shifting to a 4-3 defense under new head coach Robert Saleh, Basham — and a host of others — just don’t fit.
The soon-to-be 27-year-old does have experience playing in a 4-3, but he hasn’t done it since his college days at Ohio. The Jets are looking for more prototypical 4-3 defensive ends and Basham doesn’t fit that bill.
It’s a shame too given that there’s likely a decent chance the Jets would have looked to re-sign him had they remained in a 3-4. But at this rate, there’s a higher chance of his cousin, Carlos Basham, being drafted by the Jets than there is of the veteran pass-rusher returning.
The Jets will look to reshape their edge-rush rotation in the offseason, and Tarell Basham won’t be a part of it.
Next: 1. Breshad Perriman
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1. Breshad Perriman, WR, NY Jets
The Breshad Perriman experiment was a failure — there’s really no other way to put it.
Perriman was signed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract in the offseason as a contingency plan after Robby Anderson departed to Carolina. Anderson signed on for just two years, $20 million.
Yet the Jets believed they could replicate his production by paying Perriman $3.5 million less per year. They were wrong. Dead wrong.
While Anderson flourished with the Panthers topping 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, Perriman put together the type of season you’d expect from a guy who had been nothing more than an injury-riddled depth receiver to this point.
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The former first-round pick finished with just 30 catches for 505 yards and three touchdowns while also missing a quarter of the season with an injury.
In more than half of the games he played, he failed to even reach 30 receiving yards. Save for a couple of standout performances, Perriman was a complete afterthought.
With the Jets looking to upgrade their wide receiver corps in the offseason, it’s safe to say that Perriman isn’t in their future plans.
Denzel Mims will return as a starter and the same is likely true for Jamison Crowder, unless he’s cut and replaced in free agency. Depth receivers like Braxton Berrios and Vyncint Smith will return as well.
But as for Perriman, the one-year experiment has come to an unsatisfying conclusion.