NY Jets seem likely to lose Bryce Huff to this team in free agency

One top suitor has emerged for Bryce Huff

Bryce Huff
Bryce Huff / Al Bello/GettyImages

The NY Jets have been preparing to lose Bryce Huff in free agency for months, and as we approach the official start of the new league year this week, one team has emerged as the most likely landing spot.

The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported on Saturday that the Philadelphia Eagles have been shopping both of their starting pass rushers, Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick, over the last few weeks. Why? Partially because they intend to sign Huff as a replacement.

Russini reported that the Eagles are expected to "aggressively pursue" Huff in free agency this offseason. Huff is expected to be among the most coveted players on the open market, with a price tag that could exceed $20 million per season.

It's not often a 25-year-old star pass rusher is available on the open market. The Eagles and other teams are surely very happy the Jets intend to let him walk for nothing.

Eagles' interest is further proof the NY Jets undervalue Bruce Huff

It says something that a well-run organization like the Eagles is willing to move both of their very productive edge rushers for the opportunity to sign Huff in free agency. That should tell you all you need to know about his perception around the league.

While the Jets don't seem to value Huff as anything more than a part-time player, every metric suggests that the former Memphis standout is one of the best pass rushers in football.

No player in the NFL has a higher pressure rate than Huff over the last two seasons. In fact, only Micah Parsons finished with a higher pressure rate in 2023, and that's despite Huff taking on a larger role.

Huff assumed more of a three-down role with the Jets as the season went on, and his efficiency didn't decrease. If anything, he proved that he can maintain his extraordinary pass-rush efficiency as a full-time starter.

The Jets don't seem to care, however. The organization has been planning for Huff's inevitable departure for years now, and the selection of Will McDonald in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft ultimately sealed his fate.

Once that pick was made, there was zero chance the Jets would consider bringing Huff back for a second contract. Even after Huff exceeded all of the team's expectations in 2023, the decision had already been made.

Other teams know his value, though. It's very reminiscent of the Shaquil Barrett situation from a few years ago. Then-Broncos GM John Elway saw Barrett, who had thrived as a situational pass rusher, as little more than a part-time player despite every metric supporting Barrett's excellence.

Barrett would leave to sign a massive contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, only to finish with an NFL-best 19.5 sacks in his first season. Huff isn't the first star pass rusher to be pigeonholed by an incompetent front office, and he likely won't be the last.

At the very least, even the staunchest of Joe Douglas defenders should be able to agree that this was poor asset management on the part of the Jets. Despite receiving countless trade offers over the last 12 months, the Jets refused to deal Huff to another team.

Now, he's expected to walk in free agency, with the only compensation being a future compensatory pick that the Jets may not even receive. And even if the Jets do receive that future comp pick, there's no guarantee Douglas will be the one who puts it to use.

The Eagles and many other teams will covet Bryce Huff as one of their top free-agent targets this offseason. The Jets, meanwhile, will hope that their 2023 first-round pick can fill the vast hole Huff's inevitable departure will leave in the team's defense.