These players are causing the biggest NY Jets salary cap hits in 2024

We look at the five biggest cap hits the Jets are facing this season
Allen Lazard
Allen Lazard / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

With the 2024 season fast approaching, NY Jets fans are eager for what's to come. Even through the drama of Hasson Reddick's potential holdout and Aaron Rodgers' mysterious absence, optimism is high in New York.

A lot of the reason for this optimism is the talent all over the Jets' roster. Every unit, practically every position, is completely loaded. With all that firepower, of course, comes a price.

Some of the talent on the roster is at a good bargain right now, while some of the roster is highly overpaid. Let's take a look at the five players causing the biggest cap hit to the Jets this year, starting with the fifth biggest hit.

5. Allen Lazard, WR, NY Jets

  • Cap Hit: $12,184,000

This is tough. The Allen Lazard experience in New York has been disappointing to put it lightly. Since Lazard joined the Jets ahead of the 2023 season, anything that can go wrong has gone wrong.

He finished the 2023 season with just 311 yards on 23 receptions in 14 games played. It was easily the worst season of the six-year veteran's career.

If not for the big offseason prize that was Aaron Rodgers last year, Lazard would likely not be in green and white, so Jets fans have their QB to thank for this one. The fact that the cap number he's at is above $12 million is mind-boggling. So far it has been the Jets' biggest failure since they brought in Rodgers.

Lazard struggled during spring practices this year and there are rumors that he could potentially be cut by the team. He isn't off to a hot start this season.

Lazard has time to turn things around, though. The one believer he has left happens to be the most important person in the entire organization. It's also the only QB he has ever had success with. With Rodgers back, it's possible he can go back to catching 60 passes for over 700 yards. If that's the case, he will change the narrative quickly

But for right now, over $12 million against the cap for Allen Lazard is a major problem for the Jets.

4. Haason Reddick, DE, NY Jets

  • Cap Hit: $15,000,000

The number that you see above is likely to change. When the Jets traded for edge rusher Haason Reddick, they believed there were no contractual issues to address first. It turns out they were wrong.

Reddick is not in camp and appears to be holding out for a new contract. Currently, he has no guaranteed money left on the deal, so that's likely the biggest driving factor of his absence.

He is one of the better pass-rushers in football, so he wants market value. This could turn into a big problem if both sides decide to play hardball. With the loss of Bryce Huff, the Jets need Reddick to be the defense they believe they should be. Without him, the pass rush will suffer and so will the whole defense.

Already eating up a big portion of the front office's wallet, Reddick seems determined to increase that portion even further. It's a sticky situation and it will be interesting to see who blinks first.

3. D.J. Reed, CB, NY Jets

  • Cap Hit: $15,636,176

This one is on a more positive note. D.J. Reed has been crucial for the Jets' defense since 2022 when he was brought in. Already stout at the other side with Sauce Gardner, Reed has been as good a No. 2 cornerback as you can ask for.

Coming from Seattle and signing a three-year, $33 million deal, Reed has become invaluable to the Jets' success. With his contract due to expire following the 2024 season, it would behoove the Jets to extend him. At just 27 years of age, he is in the prime of his career.

Also, in today's pass-happy NFL, you can absolutely never have too many good cornerbacks on your roster.

2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, NY Jets

  • Cap Hit: $17,161,112

What else can you say about Aaron Rodgers that hasn't already been said? He is possibly the greatest QB of his generation and despite his season-ending injury in Week 1 of 2023 is still worth every single penny. We haven't seen him play even a full series for the Jets yet, but his impact on the culture alone has been well worth it.

The feeling around the Jets organization was not good following the 2022 season. Particularly, the biggest concern was the horrific start to their former number three overall pick's career.

Zach Wilson had completed 22 games for the Jets' franchise, with close to no indication that there was any upside to be had. He was, plain and simple, not good. The future didn't appear bright.

But the day Aaron Rodgers pulled into 1 Jets Drive, everything changed. Players wanted to come play for the Jets. Fans wanted to come watch the Jets. Experts were picking the Jets as a Super Bowl favorite.

Of course, we all know that the hope ended rather quickly, but the energy and positivity that Rodgers has injected into the organization cannot be replicated.

No one knows how the 2024 season will play out, but the Jets, at the very least, have a chance. And really, this is thanks to one man. You can't put a number on that value.

1. Quinnen Williams, DT, NY Jets

  • Cap Hit: $20,400,000

The man that fans affectionately refer to as "Q" is arguably the heart and soul of the defense, which is the backbone of the team. With a smile that can light up any room, Quinnen Williams has been a major plus for the franchise since he was drafted at No. 3 overall in 2019.

With over 50 tackles every season other than his rookie year, 33 career sacks, and 80 career hits, Williams has been an absolute force. Though there have been hiccups along the way in the form of legal troubles, his presence on the interior line is worth his cap number.

The number balloons up to $30,400,000 by the last seaon of the deal, which comes after the 2027 season, but there aren't many like Quinnen Williams around the NFL. The Jets are going to need a top five or 10 defense this season if they want to win a title. The defense will need Williams in order to reach those levels.

So, if Quinnen Williams can be the difference between winning the Super Bowl and not winning the Super Bowl, $20 million is nothing.