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
4 of 4

6. Israel Abanikanda, RB, NY Jets

Israel Abanikanda was a fifth-round pick last season whom many believed had a lot of potential at the time of his selection. What played out behind the scenes and during the regular season however was a different story.

While Abanikanda has elite top-end speed for a running back, like that of fellow backfield-mate Breece Hall, he hasn't shown that in-game action. The initial hope was when Hall needed a rest, they would not lose that home run threat out of the backfield.

However, Abanikanda never earned the coaching staff's trust to do the little things. Concerns were raised about his ability to pass block and maintain ball security. These concerns led him to be plastered to the bench even as it became apparent that running back Dalvin Cook had nothing left in the tank.

When the Jets could bear Cook no more and Abanikanda finally got his shot he didn't impress. He carried the ball 22 times for 70 yards earning a paltry 3.2 yards per carry.

Then there's the apparent scheme change that doesn't favor Abanikanda. Drafted to be a wide-zone back who excels using his speed to get into space, the Jets' moves indicate that they'll be running a more between-the-tackles gap power scheme in 2023. This is not at all favorable to Abanikanda and his skill set.

Furthermore, the Jets drafted two running backs in 2024, Braelon Allen and Isaiah Davis, both of whom are working above him on the depth chart. Allen in particular, has shown out in OTAs, though it's tough to judge much regarding running back performance from padless practices.

Still, Abanikanda has found himself working behind even the newly signed Tarik Cohen, who hasn't played an NFL game since 2020. All of this has him firmly on the roster bubble, and if he doesn't impress in training camp he might not be long for the team.

Most of the players on this list, save for Abanikanda, are guaranteed to have a role in 2024. In fact, many will play a crucial part in the Jets' eventual success this season. However, the NFL season is one filled with surprises and unforeseen outcomes. Injuries happen, unheralded players come out of nowhere to snag starting spots, and performance can fall off a cliff.

There's also a bottleneck coming. The Jets enjoyed relative salary cap flexibility in recent years due to the majority of their core being on rookie deals. The time to pay the piper is coming, however, and successful teams lose good players all the time as they prioritize retaining the truly great ones.

The six players listed above will have to impress, not only just in training camp but throughout the regular season to secure their futures. We could be in for some surprises, but as of now, the expectation is many of these faces will be in new places after 2024.