In preparation for last year’s season finale against the Miami Dolphins, I looked at a few players who were still playing for something despite the NY Jets’ season being very clearly over at that time.
I won’t exactly go through that same song and dance this year, but it’s worth noting that there are certainly Jets playing for something this year.
Personally, I’m most intrigued by Jordan Whitehead, the cousin of Jets’ legend Darrelle Revis, who won a Super Bowl already in Tampa Bay and was considered one of the better young safeties in the NFL when he signed with the Jets in the 2022 offseason. He was bad last year (putting it nicely) but has improved this year despite ranking poorly in most advanced metrics again.
The six interceptions he’s had the last two seasons combined are more than any two of his teammates during that same time frame — quite frankly, he has some of the best hands on the team.
It seems that the team may be ready to part ways after this season, but perhaps one more memorable performance can convince this regime to give him one more prove-it deal to try to anchor the top of the defense.
Carl Lawson seemed to be in the same position last year heading into Week 18 as a bubble candidate, and he produced one of his best games of the season en route to getting a re-negotiated deal that allowed him to be with the Jets the following season.
Perhaps when you consider Lawson’s 2023 season, this seems like a terrible outcome for the Jets, but Qunicy Williams was in a similar boat as well and has produced at an All-Pro level, even if the Pro Bowl voters don’t think so.
Which other NY Jets could be fighting for 2024 roster spots in Week 18?
This time around, there aren’t as many bubble players because most of them have already been dealt (Dalvin Cook, Michael Carter, Mecole Hardman, etc.) or are locked into a deal for next year regardless of their play (Tyler Conklin, Allen Lazard, Laken Tomlinson, etc.).
There are still some others, though. Bryce Huff will certainly command lots of dollars on the open market and is looking to end his season on a high note, similar to his fellow defensive lineman Quinnen Williams did last year when he finally secured the bag.
What will we see from these bubble guys this Sunday?