Jets Youngster Could Draw Serious Trade Interest: Report

Bryce Huff, Jets

Getty New York Jets defensive lineman Bryce Huff making a play during an NFL game.

The New York Jets created some additional cap flexibility on Thursday, May 18.

Field Yates of ESPN revealed that Carl Lawson has restructured the final year of his contract and with that created $12.7 million in cap space.

Rich Cimini of ESPN noted that with this new Lawson restructure, four of the top six Jets’ defensive ends have guaranteed money. The only two players that don’t are Bryce Huff and Micheal Clemons.

Cimini said it “wouldn’t be a surprise” if Huff “draws trade interest.”

Evaluating the Future of Jets’ DL Bryce Huff

The four defensive ends that have guaranteed money on their contracts are John Franklin-Myers, Will McDonald (rookie), Jermaine Johnson, and the aforementioned Lawson.

Cimini mentioned Huff as a guy that could be a hot commodity to other NFL teams.

The 25-year-old signed his one-year restricted free agent tender this offseason. He is due $4.3 million in 2023 and is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound pass rusher initially entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2020.

In three seasons he has appeared in 37 games and has made seven starts during that span of time.

Huff has mostly been used in a rotational role during his time in the league, but he has made the most of his opportunities.

Last season the former Memphis product led the NFL in pressure percentage (21.3) for players with a minimum of 150 pass rushes, per Cimini.

Huff in his career has 7.5 sacks, 22 quarterback hits, and has registered 36 combined tackles.

Social Media Strongly Reacts to Bryce Huff Potential Jets Trade

One Twitter user said, “Huff was by far the best player for Jets on third downs, and was criminally underutilized last year. Trading him ahead of an all-in season would be bad, IMO.”

There is certainly something to be said about the Jets underutilizing Huff. The snap percentages across his three seasons back that up at the NFL level:

  • 30 percent (2020)
  • 51 percent (2021)
  • 20 percent (2022)

Inexplicably the Jets made Huff a healthy scratch through the first three weeks of the season without much of an explanation from the team.

As another social media user noted, just because other NFL teams are interested in Huff this offseason that “doesn’t [necessarily] mean it’s going to happen.”

Jets analyst Joe Caporoso seemed confused by the Huff trade chatter:

“Why is everyone in a rush to trade Huff? [The] Jets are a win-now team, who should be playing with a lead far more regularly than usual. Keep your best pure pass rusher. I like JJ/McDonald potential but one hasn’t played a snap yet and one has [only] played 14 career games. Depth is okay!”

On paper, the Jets have a ton of depth on the defensive line.

However, there are plenty of reasons to keep it. New York loves to implement a heavy rotation on the defensive line so that behooves the team to have as many capable rushers as possible.

Also, there’s a very legitimate argument that Huff is not only a depth piece but one of the best pure rushers on the team based on the analytical data.

The other reason to maintain depth is an attempt to prevent the threat of injuries. You can’t ever truly prevent it, but you can be more prepared for it with additional bodies in the room.

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