Looking into NY Jets rookie extension candidates and what they might get

What might Michael Carter II and others command in extension talks?

Michael Carter II
Michael Carter II / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, NY Jets

Now we get into the members of the Jets' 2021 draft class that could theoretically be extended this offseason. Alijah Vera-Tucker's injury history makes him an interesting discussion, but he's worthy of a shoutout based on talent alone.

The former first-round pick has played just 12 games over the last two seasons as a result of a torn triceps injury and a torn Achilles this past year. Both injuries were freak accidents, but it's fair to be concerned about his health moving forward.

When on the field, however, Vera-Tucker is the Jets' best offensive lineman. He's played four of the five offensive line positions already at the NFL level and, if healthy, would be a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman.

It's unlikely the Jets extend him this offseason, given his injury history. The real discussion will be about whether or not the team picks up his fifth-year option. Even with his injuries, the safe bet is to assume they do.

Contract Projection: Jets pick up his fifth-year option

1. Michael Carter II, CB, NY Jets

If the Jets are going to extend any of their draft picks a year ahead of free agency this offseason, it's going to be Michael Carter II. The former fifth-round pick has quietly developed into one of the best nickel cornerbacks in the NFL.

Carter is often overshadowed by his star cornerback teammates, Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, but make no mistake about it — he is just as important to the success of his team's defense.

The Jets could look to get ahead of the market and extend Carter this offseason before he becomes even more expensive, but there is no immediate financial benefit to getting a deal done as soon as possible.

The most likely scenario is that the Jets will let Carter play out the final year of his contract before diving into extension talks next offseason. If he is extended this offseason, however, expect Carter to become one of the NFL's highest-paid nickel cornerbacks.

Contract Projection: 3-year, $33 million