Insider Expects $2.6 Million Jets Veteran to Leave in Free Agency

Lamarcus Joyner, Jets

Getty New York Jets safety Lamarcus Joyner trying to make a play during an NFL game.

The New York Jets are going to be losing some pieces to the puzzle this offseason.

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic revealed in a column posted on Wednesday, February 15 that veteran safety Lamarcus Joyner “likely won’t be returning” in 2023.

Seems Like the End of the Jets Road for Lamarcus Joyner

The 32-year-old was strongly contemplating retirement last offseason. Ultimately he decided he would play for the Jets in 2022 or walk away from the game.

Gang Green ended up signing him to a one-year $2.6 million deal in March of 2022.

Now with the veteran set to hit the open market once again, he’ll have to decide if he wants to hang up his cleats or perhaps move to a new NFL home.

According to Spotrac’s market value projections, Joyner could land another one-year deal but with a pay raise at a $4.1 million evaluation.

The increase in pay would be warranted after a career season. Joyner hauled in three interceptions, had six pass deflections, and registered 57 total tackles.

Although Joyner was wildly inconsistent throughout his 14-game campaign with the Jets in 2022. He had a few brain lapses on the backend of the defense where miscommunications with his teammates led to massive explosive plays.

Prior to joining the Jets, Joyner spent the last two seasons with the Oakland and then Las Vegas Raiders. Strangely the coaching staff forced him to change positions from safety and he struggled mightily.

Joyner cut his teeth and made the most noise of his NFL career with St. Louis and eventually the Los Angeles Rams. In his final season, the Rams went to the Super Bowl but lost to the New England Patriots.

Joyner left that offseason on a big-money deal to join the Raiders.

What the Heck Are the Jets Doing at Safety in 2023?

Rosenblatt called safety the “team’s biggest weakness on defense” heading into the offseason.

Joyner is an impending free agent and the other starter at safety from 2022 is Jordan Whitehead who could be a “cap casualty” this offseason, per Rosenblatt.

If that were to come to fruition the pantry would be pretty bare for the Jets at the position when you comb through the leftovers in the back of the refrigerator:

While hitting the reset button at the position and leaving the team with not much to speak of at safety could be a scary proposition it might be best for business.

The Jets are currently 18th in the NFL in available cap space with a negative $264,487, per Over The Cap.

There is a list of ways the team could create some additional cap space this offseason by cutting overpriced veterans and asking some players to restructure their deals.

Although when you consider the team is going to add a high-priced veteran at quarterback, there is only so much they can do.

That could leave the team searching for answers at defensive back in the 2023 NFL draft or in the bargain bin in the second and third stages of free agency.

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