6 NY Jets players facing an uncertain future entering 2024

From key contributors to role players, these six players face uncertain futures entering the 2024 season
Haason Reddick
Haason Reddick / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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2. D.J. Reed, CB, NY Jets

D.J. Reed finds himself entering the 2024 season in a contract year and perhaps the odd man out in terms of getting paid by the Jets. The run on extensions starts this year with Reed, the aforementioned Reddick, and slot corner extraordinaire Michael Carter II.

On the horizon are the extensions for the 2022 draft class, as well as guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. There's a lot of money that's going to need to be allocated in the near future, and that means some tough decisions need to be made.

Reed is a stellar player. Pro Football Focus ranked him the 14th-best cornerback heading into the 2024 season. That's a pretty accurate assessment, as Reed's coverage chops, ball skills, and tenacity despite his small stature, would have him as a true No. 1 corner on more than half of teams in the league.

Unfortunately, he's probably the third-best corner on his own team. Teammate Sauce Gardner is the best corner in the league, and while some (should) view slot cornerback as a different position, Michael Carter II is elite there as well.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to dollars and cents, and given all the other priorities there probably won't be enough to go around for Reed. As a credible No. 1 cornerback in his own right, some team will make him a very rich man and the Jets probably won't have room in the budget to match.

3. Michael Carter II, CB, NY Jets

Like Reed, Michael Carter II is in the final year of his deal as well. As referenced above, if slot cornerback is considered its own position rather than just a subset of cornerback, Carter might be the best in the league.

Playing in the slot poses unique challenges. Unlike boundary corners, slot corners can't utilize the sideline as leverage and have to protect against two-way goes. Furthermore, they have to remain sticky in coverage despite navigating the congestion in the middle of the field.

Lastly, a slot corner replaces a linebacker on the field, so he must be a surehanded tackler and be able to make plays in space in the run game. Carter checks all these boxes with flying colors.

Statistically and on film, Carter is an elite player at his position. Some of his 2023 numbers are mind-boggling; 195 receiving yards out of the slot allowed, 25 receptions allowed while in slot coverage, and 0.54 yards allowed per slot coverage snap. All are league-best marks among slot corners.

All of that has meant many believe that the Jets must extend Carter, but until pen is put to paper his future is still up in the air. Another factor to consider is that slot corners typically get paid less than outside corners, so the Jets could still probably keep him in the fold for the long haul at a reasonable price.