30-Year-Old Jets Team Captain Earns National Praise: ‘Hasn’t Declined’

New York Jets huddle

Getty Several New York Jets players meeting up before the start of an NFL game.

In 2019 the New York Jets invested a record-breaking $85 million into linebacker CJ Mosley during free agency.

They reset the market hoping Mosely could fix the culture of the team and be an anchor for the future.

Unfortunately, his first two years were marred by injuries and a world pandemic that led him to opt-out of the 2020 season. Although after a special 2021 campaign, the veteran is still earning massive praise.

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NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler polled more than 50 executives, coaches, scouts, and players to put together a top-10 list for every positional group.

The latest edition for ESPN featured the best inside linebackers in the league and Mosley earned some special recognition.

While he wasn’t listed among the top-10 in the league right now at his position, Mosely did earn an honorable mention:

“Still really solid, always strong and smooth, never been a twitchy athlete,” an NFC exec said to Fowler. “Hasn’t declined as much but is on that trajectory.”

The 30-year-old only suited up for two contests in his first two seasons with the Jets, but last year Mosley was finally able to show the team what he’s capable of:

  • 168 total tackles
  • Two sacks
  • Two forced fumbles

After not playing a bunch from 2019-20, Mosley suited up for 16 games in 2021 and played 99 percent of the defensive snaps.

Still One of the Best

When head coach Robert Saleh took over the team in 2021 there were some initial concerns about Mosley’s transition to his scheme.

Although after seeing his commitment to changing his body and his obvious leadership skills, Saleh changed his tune.

Will Mosley be on the team in 2023? That is very much to be determined.

There is a built-in contractual opt-out if the Jets want to exercise it after this upcoming season. If they cut ties with Mosley a year from now they would save over $14 million in cap space with a minimal dead hit ($3 million).

Although he is locked in for the 2022 campaign and that is good news for the Jets. While he may not be the same All-Pro level player he was with the Baltimore Ravens, Mosley is still easily one of the best players on the team.

He isn’t just talented, Mosley is critically important because of the position he plays and the lack of depth in the room.

Saleh has built this attack-style defense that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on his linebackers to call the defense and make plays. When you consider the green and white have done absolutely nothing to add to the room this offseason, the Jets are clearly all-in on Mosley because they have no other choice.

If the former Alabam star was to get hurt or fall off in any dramatic way, this entire defense could fold like a cheap suit. Although if he balls out for another year in a row, perhaps the Jets would entertain bringing him back at a reduced number in 2023.

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