NY Jets essentially commit themselves to C.J. Mosley in 2023

NY Jets, C.J. Mosley
NY Jets, C.J. Mosley / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets needed to create cap space before the start of the 2022 regular season and they did just that on Friday. The means by which they did so, however, caught some by surprise.

The Jets opted to restructure linebacker C.J. Mosley's contract, a move that created $11.904 million in cap space in 2022 but also removed some future flexibility the team had in his contract.

Mosley's 2023 cap hit now balloons up to $21.46 million and, more importantly, cutting him would leave the team with a whopping $11.84 million cap hit, per SNY's Connor Hughes. Compare that to the $3 million dead cap charge they previously would have had and it's a significant difference.

The Jets essentially committed themselves to keeping Mosley on the roster in 2023. Well, they almost committed themselves. There's still a way out in theory.

The NY Jets could still cut C.J. Mosley in 2023, but it's now a bit more difficult

If the Jets were to cut Mosley next season, they'd still save $10.12 million in cap space even with the massive $11.84 dead cap charge. Perhaps they still believe it's worth it to move on from Mosley, especially if he underperforms again in 2022.

There's also another catch. Mosley actually has offset language in his contract which has a chance to lower his cap hit for the Jets in 2023 in the event that he's released.

Essentially, if Mosley were to be released and signed by another team, the money he signed for would be subtracted from his dead cap hit with the Jets. If he signed for $4 million, the dead cap charge against New York would only be $7.84 million in theory.

That one clause still makes it feasible that the Jets do move on from Mosley after this season. That said, it certainly would be odd to restructure the contract of a player you plan to cut the following year. It's rare to see something like that happen.

The Jets love Mosley's leadership and see him as one of the team's most important players on and off the field, but his performance last season was subpar at best.

The 30-year-old finished with a dreadful Pro Football Focus grade of 42.0 that ranked 75th out of just 86 qualified linebackers. PFF grades don't tell the whole story, but it was clear that Mosley wasn't the same player he used to be last season.

Was that a product of the time he missed or was it a sign that Mosley isn't getting any younger? Given what we've seen with aging, big-money linebackers in recent years, the latter seems like the better bet.

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The Jets needed to create cap space, but restructuring Mosley's deal is a risky move that removes future flexibility. Here's to hoping he bounces back and lives up to his contract in 2023.