NY Jets projected to lose Bryce Huff to crosstown rival in free agency

The Jets are likely to lose Bryce Huff

Bryce Huff
Bryce Huff / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

As the months have gone on, it's seemed more and more likely that the NY Jets will lose star defensive end Bryce Huff this offseason. At this point, it almost feels inevitable.

Huff is fresh off a breakout 2023 season in which he finished with a career-high 10 sacks and was once again one of the most efficient and productive pass rushers in the NFL. That likely won't matter to the Jets, however.

Huff feels destined to sign with a new team this offseason — one that will value him as a three-down starter. ESPN's projected "best fit" for Huff might not go over well with Jets fans, though.

ESPN believes that the Jets' crosstown rivals, the New York Giants, are the most logical landing spot for Huff in free agency. The Giants are hoping to add a talented edge rusher opposite Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Huff could be exactly what they're looking for.

The NY Jets could lose Bryce Huff to the Giants in free agency

A former undrafted free agent, Huff has quietly developed into one of the NFL's best pass rushers. His 20.06 percent pressure rate in 2023 ranked just 0.02 percent behind Micah Parsons for the NFL lead.

The Jets began to use Huff as more of a three-down player this past season, and his efficiency didn't decrease in any way. Huff still became the first Jets edge rusher in a decade to record double-digit sacks in a season.

Despite Huff's dominance, the Jets have made it abundantly clear that they don't value him in the same way as other teams will. They don't see him as a true three-down starter despite his efficiency in an increased role in 2023.

That's partially a product of a rotation-heavy defensive scheme, but it's also because the Jets have been planning for his departure. The Jets used first-round picks in consecutive years on Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald.

Johnson broke out in 2023, earning his first Pro Bowl nod, while McDonald played the fewest snaps of any Jets first-round pick since Vernon Gholston. It's McDonald who the Jets will be asking to replace Huff's role on defense.

That's a bold strategy and a lot to ask of a player who was on the field for just 184 snaps last season. But that's the risk the Jets plan to take.

Huff feels like a lock to sign on with another team this offseason, and he figures to be one of the most highly-touted free agents on the open market. The Giants won't be the only team willing to spend top dollar for a 25-year-old star pass rusher.

Huff's days with the Jets might be numbered, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be leaving MetLife Stadium.