The New York Jets have effectively purged their roster of “older” players. As it stands, they only have four who are over the age of 30 and twelve who are 28 or older. Let’s run through those twelve and size up their short and long term roles with the team…
Josh McCown, Quarterback, 38 years old
Under contract for one year at 6 million dollars to theoretically be a mentor and bridge to Christian Hackenberg. It is hard to fathom any scenario where he is starting games in November, never mind be on the team in 2018 despite being the favorite to start week 1. McCown would be better served as a coaching intern than an active player for the 2017 Jets.
Tanner Purdum, Long Snapper, 32 years old
In the final year of his $400,000 contract. If he snaps the ball well, he will probably be back next season. If he doesn’t, the Jets will pay somebody else you never heard $400,000 to do it.
Matt Forte, Running Back, 31 years old
Forte remains on the roster because of his contract structure and is highly unlikely to be on the 2018 team. Since he is around, he is likely to split lead back duties with Bilal Powell and be active in the short passing game. He should still be useful to whoever is under center, at least from a pass protection and pass catching standpoint. If a team gets desperate at running back in training camp (Hello, Dallas!), maybe the Jets will luck out and be able to trade Forte for a late round pick.
Steve McLendon, Nose Tackle, 31 years old
It will be more financially beneficial to release McLendon after this season, rather than right now, although the Jets wold only have to eat $400,000 if they did part ways with him before the season. As of now, he is likely to be the starting nose tackle. Deon Simon will probably slowly take playing time from him as the year goes on. It would not be shocking if the Jets parted ways with him before week 1.
Bruce Carter, Linebacker, 29 years old
A veteran minimum player who is competing for reps alongside Darron Lee with Spencer Paysinger and Demario Davis. Carter could be a starter week 1 or not make the final 53, considering how wide open the team’s linebacker position is. I’d guess he sticks as a situational player on defense and a special teamer.
Spencer Paysinger, Linebacker, 29 years old
The exact description for Carter applies to Paysinger, although maybe he has slightly longer odds of sticking since he wasn’t around last season and will be learning a new system.
Kelvin Beachum, Tackle, 28 years old
The Jets “big” offseason signing, who they are counting on to be the left tackle for the next two seasons. If Beachum is the player he was in Pittsburgh, the Jets will have found good value. If Beachum is the player he was in Jacksonville, the Jets will be looking for a new left tackle in 9 months.
James Carpenter, Guard, 28 years old
The best free agent signing of the Mike Maccagnan era by a wide margin. Carpenter is under contract for two more years and if he continues his current level of play is likely to get another deal from the team.
Demario Davis, Linebacker, 28 years old
A throw in on the Calvin Pryor dump trade. With David Harris cut, Davis has the inside track to start next to Lee. Despite being the same caliber of player as Carter and Paysinger, Davis has a higher chance of initially getting more playing time. He is not under contract after this season and is unlikely to be back.
Rontez Miles, Safety, 28 years old
The team’s third safety and a leader on special teams, Miles is on the final year of his deal but could be a candidate for a new, low cost contract with another solid season as a depth player.
Buster Skrine, Corner, 28 years old
The Jets can save 3.5 million by releasing him after this season, which seems more likely to happen than him being brought back to play here in 2018. Skrine was pretty good for most of 2015 but struggled in a larger role last season and dealt with concussion problems.
Bilal Powell, Running Back, 28 years old
Arguably the team’s best offensive player, Powell is under contract the next two seasons and could get another deal from the team if he continues his current rate of play. #GiveTheBallToEnunwaAndPowell
“Christian Hackenberg will compete with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty for the starting QB job, but despite who wins the position, that won’t improve the New York Jets odds for the 2017 NFL Season” says Dave Strauss, line manager at MyBookie.ag online sportsbook. “The Gang Green is right behind the Browns with the worst odds to win the AFC (+4000), and they are also one of the longest shots for Super Bowl LII at +8000. Sadly for Jets fans, they are far from being a contender this year, in fact, they are getting a considerable amount on action from payers who are picking them under 4.5 wins this season”.
2017/18 NFL to Win AFC Conference
Baltimore Ravens +1300
Buffalo Bills +2300
Cincinnati Bengals +1500
Cleveland Browns +5500
Denver Broncos +600
Houston Texans +900
Indianapolis Colts +1500
Jacksonville Jaguars +2800
Kansas City Chiefs +650
Los Angeles Chargers +2300
Miami Dolphins +1800
New England Patriots +220
New York Jets +4000
Oakland Raiders +650
Pittsburgh Steelers +380
Tennessee Titans +1800
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com