As reported by ESPN's Field Yates, Lewis will now hold a base salary of $3 million in 2021, down from the $5.8 million it was previously at. On top of that, the Jets have eliminated the final year of his deal meaning that he will be a free agent after this season.
Lewis was seen as a prime cut candidate this offseason with many expecting the team to move on from the veteran guard and save roughly $6 million in cap space.
That was especially true after the selection of USC lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker with the 14th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, the Jets clearly had different plans.
The NY Jets will allow Alex Lewis to compete at right guard
Lewis was likely never going to remain on the roster at his previous salary. But instead of outright releasing him, the Jets managed to re-work his contract to allow him to remain in the mix at right guard.
The 29-year-old is quality depth, so this makes sense. And this will give him the opportunity to compete alongside the likes of Greg Van Roten, Dan Feeney, and Cameron Clark for the starting right guard job.
The Jets originally acquired Lewis in a trade back in August of 2019 when they sent the Baltimore Ravens a conditional seventh-rounder in return. Safe to say that deal has worked out quite well for New York.
While Lewis has had his struggles, he's been the team's starting left guard for the better part of the last two seasons starting 21 of 24 games played.
Lewis didn't allow a sack in nine starts last season, but he graded out poorly as a pass blocker (55.6 Pro Football Focus pass-block grade) and allowed a total of 24 pressures, good for over 2.6 per game.
The Jets managed to keep a valuable depth piece at an affordable price. And as for Lewis, he will now be able to compete for a starting job in a competitive battle at right guard.