Jets 11-Game Starter Skips Town for Steelers: Report

Robert Saleh

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh during the 2022-23 season.

The New York Jets just lost a 2022 fan favorite in free agency that ended up starting 11 games in injury relief last year.

NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo had the story, reporting: “The [Pittsburgh] Steelers have agreed to terms with G Nate Herbig on a two-year deal worth $8 million with $4 million guaranteed, source says. Pittsburgh assistant GM Andy Weidl was in Philly when Herbig was with the [Philadelphia] Eagles and believes in him as a starter.”

Ahead of free agency, The Athletic’s NYJ correspondent Zack Rosenblatt hinted that Herbig could price out for a starting offer in 2023. He performed admirably for the Jets after Alijah Vera-Tucker and several offensive tackles hit the injured reserve, but with AVT back and Laken Tomlinson locked in at left guard, there was no place for Herbig in the starting five.

In the end, the latest Joe Douglas waiver claim success story finds that opportunity in the Steel City.

Jets Fans React to Nate Herbig, Steelers News

Although he was only with Gang Green a short time, Jets fans appeared to take to Herbig.

“Sad to see Nate Herbig go!” One fan wrote, and another commented: “Good luck herby, good player.”

“Happy for herbig going to miss his nastiness,” a third said, while a fourth congratulated the Steelers, adding: “This guy is a hidden gem, I’m actually sad.”

Finally, one last NYJ supporter echoed the others, replying: “Herbig was a great contributor for NY. Hard worker, team guy. Well deserved. Good luck Nate.”

Greg Zuerlein Re-Signs With Jets, WR Jeff Smith Doesn’t Receive Tender Offer

There has been some smaller Jets news over the past 24 hours in case you missed it. One positive story was Gang Green working out a new deal with veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein on the open market — per ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Later NFL reporter Doug Kyed shared Zuerlein’s contract details, noting that it was a “one year, $2.6 [million deal].” He added: “$500K signing bonus, $1.75M total guarantee. Up to $750K in incentives. $1.25 of his $1.75M salary is fully guaranteed. Has up to $350K in per-game roster bonuses.”

On the other side of the spectrum, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero revealed that wide receiver and restricted free agent Jeff Smith was not tendered by the Jets — with rumors that the NYJ front office is pursuing Green Bay Packers free agents like Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.

Shortly after Pelissero broke the news, Smith addressed the fanbase in what felt like farewell.

“Preciate you NY!” Smith voiced. “You gave me a chance to feed my family, forever Grateful! Love 🙏🏾”

The Jets could be looking at a massive shake-up in the wide receiver room if Aaron Rodgers is traded to New York, but so far, only Braxton Berrios and Smith have been let go by the franchise officially.

Aaron Rodgers’ Wish List Would Crowd Jets’ Roster at WR & TE

Jets fans are beginning to get impatient when it comes to Rodgers and his supposed demands. A new report from Russini claimed that the four-time MVP’s “wish list” includes Lazard, Cobb, tight end Marcedes Lewis and superstar WR Odell Beckham Jr.

That’s some list! Considering the Jets have Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Irvin Charles under contract at wide receiver among others, plus four tight ends already on the roster — Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, 2022 draft pick Jeremy Ruckert, and Kenny Yeboah — things could get awkward after a Rodgers trade.

Many assume Davis will be cut or traded, but how about Moore — a talented 2021 second round pick — or Ruckert? Uzomah just restructured his contract to help get Rodgers, and now his role in the offense could theoretically lose some snaps to a veteran blocking TE in Lewis.

And where does Mims fit into all of this? The disappointing second rounder is another cut candidate heading into year four of his rookie deal (increased salary). How about special teams ace Yeboah?

The only player with nothing to fear is Wilson, who’s coming off the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2022, but even he might take exception to a player like Beckham stepping in and demanding the spotlight.

As of now, this is all hearsay, but this could get interesting real soon — and fast!