5 New York Jets Who Shouldn’t Be Back in 2014
5 New York Jets Who Shouldn't Be Back in 2014
An 8-8 finish would be deemed a disappointment to many teams, but not the New York Jets, who entered 2013 projected to be one of the league's worst clubs. Talent-wise, the Jets didn't measure up to those squads pundits considered to be playoff-caliber, yet head coach Rex Ryan engineered a respectable .500 campaign with a struggling rookie quarterback under center.
Included in a season many have considered an overachievement for the Jets were two impressive wins over playoff teams in the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints, and the fulfillment of the spoiler role vs. the Miami Dolphins in Week 17 which knocked their division rival out of postseason contention with a 20-7 beatdown. In order for the Jets to establish the consistency needed to be a playoff team themselves in 2014, they'll need more than just quality coaching; they'll need more talent.
GM John Idzik is set to enter a crucial offseason in which he'll need to equip the Jets with difference-makers on both sides of the ball. Free agency and the draft will serve as two avenues for improvement in New York. But before Idzik can decide which free agents to acquire and which rookies to select, he'll need to decide which current players to retain.
Several Jets veterans have expiring contracts, while others are due pricey roster bonuses that could lead to their departure. Let's take a look at five Jets players who should be tabbed "former Jets" upon completion of the 2014 offseason.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.
5. Kellen Winslow
An up-and-down season followed by news of more legal trouble for Kellen Winslow should ensure that the Jets look to get younger at tight end this offseason. Winslow caught 31 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games for the Jets, but will turn 31 over the summer and could easily be replaced by a tight end in May's draft. He'll likely have difficulty finding work on the open market given an ongoing drug charge and a troubled past.
4. Vladimir Ducasse
Former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse has been a bust for the Jets in his first four seasons. After struggling at starting left guard in September when he gave up two sacks, four quarterback hits and 10 hurries in only four games while producing inconsistent results as a run blocker, the Jets benched Ducasse in favor of Brian Winters. According to Pro Football Focus, Ducasse was only the league's 56th-most efficient offensive guard out of 81 qualifying players at the position. He'll be a free agent this offseason, where the Jets likely won't be in the mix for his services.
3. Antonio Cromartie
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie is due a $5 million roster bonus in March and will account for a $15 million cap hit in 2014. His play in 2013 wasn't worthy of that price tag. Only seven corners who played at least 25 percent of their team's defensive snaps graded worse than Cromartie, according to Pro Football Focus. The 937 yards he surrendered in coverage were the third-highest in the league, and the seven touchdowns he conceded ranked fourth. Unless the Jets and Cromartie are willing to restructure, expect the former Pro Bowler to be cut within the next couple of months.
2. Santonio Holmes
Former Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes' career has been on a steady decline since he joined the Jets in 2010. With two measly touchdowns over the past two seasons and some off-field controversy sprinkled in, Holmes has become a player many Jets fans would love to see the team part ways with. Expect the Jets to cut him before he's handed the $1 million roster bonus he's scheduled to receive on March 13.
1. Mark Sanchez
Despite still being under contract for three more years, it would be quite the shock if the Jets didn't release quarterback Mark Sanchez this offseason. Sanchez is due $9 million in 2014, including a $2 million roster bonus in late March. He isn't a starting-caliber quarterback, nor should he be compensated like one. Sanchez's tumultuous stay in New York will finally come to the unceremonious end it has always been destined for this spring.