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NY Jets re-sign John Franklin Myers: Hard work rewarded

NY Jets, John Franklin-Myers
NY Jets, John Franklin-Myers / Benjamin Solomon/GettyImages
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In a move that made headlines last week for the NY Jets, general manager Joe Douglas extended defensive end John Franklin-Myers to a four-year extension worth $55 million.

The defensive end out of Stephen F. Austin was originally claimed by Douglas back in 2019 after he was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Rams. He had been drafted in the fourth round the year prior.

The sizable price tag that comes with the extension begs the question: is JFM's production worth just under $14 million per year for four years? A look into the context of the signing will show that yes, it is.

NY Jets and John Franklin-Myers' contract details

With an average annual value of $13.75, Franklin-Myers now sits as the 20th highest-paid edge rusher, according to OverTheCap.com. That price would also make him the 13th highest-paid interior defensive lineman if he were to move back inside.

Also noteworthy is the actual structure of the deal. If for some odd reason the Jets would like to move on from JFM early, it becomes profitable to release him in 2023 despite the official four-year status of the deal.

Players with similar cap hits at the edge position include Robert Quinn, Matt Judon, Whitney Mercillus, and Josh Sweat. None of those players had more than six sacks in the 2020 season.

Additionally, only one of those players (Sweat) had a 2020 Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade of over 60, a generally mediocre score for pass rushers.

Clearly, $14 million per year is no longer reserved for the league's top rushers. At this point, even a semi-productive rusher is worthy of the price tag.

Frankin-Myers, though, is not just a semi-productive rusher. He has proven time and time again to be a force in the backfield.

John Franklin-Myers' production for the NY Jets

In 2020, Franklin-Myers received an impressive 71.5 PFF grade, higher than the scores of all of the aforementioned rushers, including Sweat.

The 6-foot-4, 288-pounder rushed primarily from the interior last season, raising questions about whether he would prove productive in his new role this season as an outside rusher. Franklin-Myers answered the call.

Through the first four weeks of the season, JFM has accumulated 17 pressures, good for fifth-most in the league. His PFF grade over that span has been a very good 74.7.

After five weeks, the 25-year old has three sacks, putting him on pace for over 10 sacks on the year.

In Week 4, Franklin-Myers finished with nine pressures on 38 pass-rush snaps (23.7%). The league average pressure rate for interior defensive linemen in 2020 was 7.0 percent while the average for edge rushers was 9.7 percent.

Beyond the stats, JFM has an incredible blend of strength and speed that he displays regularly for Gang Green as he routinely beats blockers with ease. These traits are showcased not just on passing downs but on running plays, too.

One play against Tennessee comes to mind. The Titans ran it to Derrick Henry who immediately fell to the ground after colliding with an offensive lineman.

The lineman had been blown up and pushed back several yards just seconds after the snap by number 91 for the Jets. The play resulted in a loss of several yards.

Conclusion

The JFM saga with the Jets reflects very positively on Joe Douglas, who originally spotted him as an under-the-radar talent and acquired him for virtually nothing.

The extension also proves to the locker room that hard work gets rewarded, a point especially relevant for fellow defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi, who has more than earned a contract extension as an elite run-stopping defensive tackle.

Franklin-Myers is a major piece on a defensive line that has proven to be the strength of this roster. With Carl Lawson and Quinnen Williams under contract for two more years (including Williams' fifth-year option), this strong pass rush should stay in-tact for quite a few seasons.

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Now it is up to Douglas to extend Fatukasi, the final member of that strong defensive line, and bolster this Jets' front for years to come.

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