Jets facing a potential problem with star pass rusher holding out

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (7) (New York Jets)
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets made a significant change to their defensive lineup this offseason by letting pass rusher Bryce Huff go and bringing in Haason Reddick as his replacement. This strategic move shifts the dynamics of the Jets’ defense, aiming to bolster their pass-rushing capabilities with a proven veteran who enjoyed double the number of snaps last year.

Jets’ Pass Rush Transition: From Huff to Reddick

Haason Reddick, a 29-year-old former first-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals, has had a notable career and is fresh off another dominant season with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2023, Reddick played 910 snaps, amassing an impressive 68 pressures, 13 sacks, and 21 tackles. Although his 20% missed tackle rate indicates some room for improvement, particularly in run defense, his prowess as a pure pass rusher is undisputed.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In contrast, Bryce Huff, who was solid for the Jets last season, managed to produce 67 pressures over just 481 snaps, showcasing his efficiency with a 6.3% missed tackle rate. Despite Huff’s strong performance, the Jets opted for a more experienced player in Reddick, whose skill set they believe adds a different type of value to the team.

Looking ahead, Reddick is approaching the end of his three-year, $45 million contract and will be counting $15 million against the salary cap this season. With his contract expiring after the 2024 season, Reddick is reportedly seeking a new deal comparable to Danielle Hunter’s recent two-year, $49 million contract with the Houston Texans, which included $48 million guaranteed at signing. Given their similar age and statistical output, Reddick’s aspirations for a substantial contract are well-founded.

However, the Jets face a challenging financial landscape. They need to manage their salary cap prudently, especially considering they do not have a quarterback on a rookie contract, which typically offers more flexibility. With $58 million in cap space available next year but several key players needing new contracts, including D.J. Reed, the Jets must navigate these negotiations carefully.

If Reddick decides to hold out in pursuit of a new deal, the Jets could find themselves in a precarious position.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: