NY Jets fans are well aware of how immensely talented pass rusher Bryce Huff is, but he remained a seldom-known secret in prior seasons due to the Jets' poor record. With more eyes on him this season, Huff could end up getting a massive payday in free agency.
With the Jets in desperate need of more help on the offensive line and at wide receiver, they could let Huff walk in the name of financial flexibility. If he does hit the open market, expect Huff to earn a contract similar to what another Jet pass rusher got a few years ago.
Pro Football Focus ranked Huff as the No. 18 free agent in the upcoming free agent class, as the rest of the league seems to be catching on to how good he is. Huff's pass-rushing skills have him ranked above names like Calvin Ridley, Saquon Barkley, and Chase Young.
PFF projected Huff to earn a contract similar to the three-year, $45 million contract Carl Lawson signed with the Jets in the 2021 offseason. If the Jets want to keep this amazing defensive line together, they'll need to back up the Brinks truck and pay Huff.
NY Jets' Bryce Huff projected to earn $45 million contract.
Huff's sack numbers (7.0 this season) don't do justice to the type of player the former undrafted free agent has become. Huff ranks near the top of the league in pressure percentage, and his get-off time remains elite/ He is as productive as a situational pass rusher could be.
The Jets are in a bit of an awkward situation, as they used the No. 15 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to select Iowa State dynamo Will McDonald. Given their similar skill sets, McDonald was viewed by some as a more high-ceiling alternative to a less robust player in Huff.
With Huff suddenly becoming a passable run defender in addition to leading this team in sacks, the Jets are suddenly faced with a genuine problem. Do you let Huff walk for a comp pick and roll with the unproven McDonald, or keep a 25-year-old Top 15 pick on the bench again with no path to starting?
While Robert Saleh has shown a tremendous ability to both identify defensive line talent and work with them to improve, it's hard to find a player of Huff's caliber. McDonald looks like a fine player, but will he be good enough to help the Jets replace a name like Huff?