In a perfect world, you would like to keep everyone on your roster that is a good player, but everything changed back in 1993.
That is when the current free agency system was first introduced to the NFL and nothing has been the same since. A year later the NFL salary cap was introduced in 1994. Each year after that point, the floor/ceiling would be adjusted based on the league’s revenue.
Those decisions forced teams to make business decisions on which players to keep and which ones to let go on a yearly basis.
It is no different in 2022 and beyond for a team like the New York Jets who have to make some tough choices.
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A Trade to Keep an Eye out For
On the latest episode of I’m Just Saying with Brian Mazique, the question was raised which Jets players or coaches are on the chopping block heading into 2022?
Mazique said the player to keep an eye out for is linebacker CJ Mosley.
“I would like to see more of the Jets’ roster on the same timeline as their quarterback. Some of those windows don’t match Zach Wilson’s. CJ Mosley is a 29-year-old inside linebacker and his contract has a potential out after next year. It isn’t like he is a bad player, but he isn’t a difference-making guy.”
While it would be nearly impossible to move him during the 2022 calendar year, there is a potential opt-out in the clause following this season.
If the Jets tried to move on from Mosley this year they would eat over $20.5 million in dead money. Although if they waited until 2023 the dead cap number would only be $3 million. They would also save over $15 million on the cap for the 2023 season.
Instead of just cutting him simply for cap savings, Mazique suggested perhaps a divisional trade could suit both sides of the coin?
“I think Mosely is a guy who could help a team, perhaps that is closer to winning and could use an inside linebacker. Quite honestly the New England Patriots would make sense because they need a faster linebacker. If the Jets can find a taker for Mosley and flip him for a third or fourth-round pick that would make sense. Then you could use that pick to get someone on the same timeline as Wilson.”
Mazique is an NFL analyst and covers the Patriots for Heavy. If he believes there would be a fit on the New England roster for what would be a 30-year-old player (would be 31 by the start of the 2023 season), the Jets would pull the trigger in a heartbeat.
Not All Chops Are Created Equally
Mosley is locked into being on the team in 2022 and while his contract is obnoxious, the Jets really like what they have.
He was able to successfully transition to the Robert Saleh 4-3 scheme by shedding a ton of weight and simultaneously became one of the top leaders on the Jets in 2021.
When he was signed to that record-breaking $85 million contract back in 2019 it was destined to be a disaster. While it obviously hasn’t worked out exactly according to plan, Mosley is coming off of a career year in 2021.
Jets fans are used to free-agent splashes crashing and burning. It has happened too many times to count during the team’s history, but at least this one appears to be ending on a potentially positive note.
It is hard to envision the Jets willingly paying Mosley that kind of cap figure when they have the choice in 2023. A potential trade with anyone for anything of significant value would be a major win for the green and white next offseason.