4 NY Jets players who shouldn't be back next year (but probably will be)

The Jets have some difficult decisions to make

NY Jets, Allen Lazard
NY Jets, Allen Lazard / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA
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2. Laken Tomlinson, LG, NY Jets

The Jets believed they were adding a Pro-Bowl-caliber offensive guard when they signed Laken Tomlinson to a three-year, $40 million contract prior to the start of the 2022 season.

Tomlinson was fresh off a Pro Bowl campaign with the San Francisco 49ers the year before, had experience playing in a very similar offensive system, and had missed just one game in his NFL career.

It was a home-run signing — a can't-miss move for the Jets. Unfortunately, while Tomlinson has maintained his impressive streak of durability, his performance has fallen well short of expectations.

Tomlinson's 55.0 Pro Football Focus grade in 2023 ranked 54th out of 77 qualified offensive guards — a modest improvement from his 58th overall ranking in his first season with the Jets.

The former first-round pick allowed an NFL-worst 51 pressures this past season, also ranking second with seven sacks surrendered. His 49.6 PFF run-block grade ranked 66th out of 79 qualifiers. On a Jets offensive line riddled with injuries, Tomlinson was often among the team's worst performers.

The Jets can cut Tomlinson this offseason and save over $8 million in the process, but they'd also be forced to eat over $10 million in dead cap space. The more likely option is probably a restructure, which would save the team over $8.5 million in 2024 cap.

The Jets value Tomlinson's durability and leadership. They seem to believe that his on-field performance would improve with a better supporting cast. I'd be surprised if Tomlinson wasn't on the team in 2024.