New York Jets Walking Papers – Defense/Special Teams

Joe Caporoso on what members of the New York Jets defense and special teams won’t be back in 2016

It is no secret that each off-season brings roster turnover, not just in terms of new additions but in terms who will be given their walking papers. Let’s look at what notable members of the New York Jets defense are unlikely to be back in 2016. (Offensive edition linked here)

CB – Antonio Cromartie: At a minimum his contract will be substantially re-structured. The Jets could clear around 8 million dollars by getting Cromartie’s current contract off the books and considering his inconsistency last season, along with the progress of second year corner Marcus Williams, it is illogical to keep him around at anywhere near his current cap number. Unlike in previous years, Cromartie couldn’t compensate for his coverage lapses with any big plays. He didn’t record a single interception, looked sluggish as a returner and continued to get picked on in the passing game and regularly miss tackles.

LB – Demario Davis: A free agent who lost his starting role to veteran castoff Erin Henderson, who is more likely to be back next year. Davis was originally hyped as an inside linebacker with speed and the potential to grow into a solid coverage option. It hasn’t happened. He has spent the previous few years basically being a very poor man’s version of David Harris. It is time for the Jets to move on.

LB – Calvin Pace: The ageless one. Will the Jets maintain their annual tradition of giving him a veteran minimum one year extension this February or March? It remains to be seen but the Jets desperately need to get faster on the edge. At this point it feels silly to write off Pace coming back because he always finds a way to return. Let’s see if the streak is broken this off-season.

NT – Damon Harrison: The Jets biggest defensive free agent not named Muhammad Wilkerson. It is a coin flip at this point if Harrison is going to find a better deal on the open market and leave the Jets. It would be a big blow to their run defense but there is a ceiling on how much you can pay a two down player, who barely cracked 50% of the defensive snaps in 2015.

DE – Stephen Bowen: It is hard to see the Jets bringing back this veteran rotational piece, particularly with younger options like Mike Catapano looking at more playing time next season.

DE – Leger Douzable: More likely to be brought back than Bowen, as Douzable is more versatile and explosive. With another suspension for Sheldon Richardson likely coming, the Jets would be wise to not part with multiple depth pieces behind him.

S – Jaiquawn Jarrett: Rontez Miles performed admirably in a backup role last season, making it less likely we will see Jarrett back next season.

S – Antonio Allen: See above, although I’d say Allen has a better chance of coming back because he is a little more versatile and may have more upside than Jarrett in this defensive scheme.

LB – Jamari Lattimore: One of the better players on a bad special teams unit last season. The new ST staff will likely determine his fate.

P – Ryan Quigley: The Jets badly need to upgrade here.

K – Randy Bullock: A goner with Nick Folk coming back healthy.

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports