NY Jets should prioritize a D.J. Reed extension this offseason

The Jets must extend D.J. Reed

D.J. Reed
D.J. Reed / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The NY Jets have already made quite a few high-profile moves this offseason, but their work isn't done just yet. The team is reportedly still eyeing some notable names in free agency. But to make some of those moves work, the Jets might have to create a little more cap space.

The Jets currently sit at roughly $8.5 million in cap space, per Over the Cap. That's not a lot of money, but the good news is that the Jets have plenty of financial flexibility to free up more funds.

While the Jets could explore restructuring the contracts of players like Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers, doing so would push more dead money into the future.

Their best bet to not only create cap space in the short term but also to secure one of their best players in the long term would be to explore an extension for star cornerback D.J. Reed.

Why extending D.J. Reed should be a priority for the NY Jets

Reed is set to enter the final year of a three-year, $33 million contract he signed with the Jets prior to the 2022 season. His cap hit in 2024 is $15.64 million, the fourth-highest on the team, but the Jets have multiple ways to lower that number.

The Jets could restructure Reed's contract, creating more than $7 million in cap space, but that would also add dead cap charges in the future. The best-case scenario would be for the two sides to work out an extension.

Extending Reed would save the Jets $7.5 million in 2024 cap space. It would also lock up one of their most important defensive pieces for the foreseeable future, an especially important task with the cornerback market continuing to rise.

The Tennessee Titans traded for former Kansas City Chiefs star cornerback L'Jarius Sneed on Friday, handing him a four-year, $76 million contract in the process. That makes Sneed one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL.

With players like Patrick Surtain II and fellow Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner eligible for extensions in the near future, the cornerback market should only continue to explode.

Getting ahead of the curve and extending Reed this offseason would not only help the Jets create cap space for this season, but it would also help save the team money in the long run.

The Jets could consider exploring an extension for nickel cornerback Michael Carter II as well, but his 2024 cap hit is already small, and extending him would create less than $2 million in cap space. It's not like the nickel cornerback market is especially expensive, either.

Extending Reed should be one of the Jets' top priorities this offseason. If the Jets want to sign players like Jadeveon Clowney, extending Reed is the perfect way to create the necessary cap space.