Jets Sign 7.5 Sack Pass Rusher to $4.3 Million Contract

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting on the sideline during an NFL game.

The New York Jets have locked in a young pass rusher on a new deal.

Rich Cimini of ESPN was the first to share the news on Twitter that Bryce Huff has signed his restricted free agent tender on Thursday, April 20.

Gang Green placed a second-round RFA tender on Huff earlier this offseason. That means if any NFL team would have signed him to an offer sheet and the Jets didn’t match it, they would have received a second-round draft choice in return.

Instead, the 25-year-old defensive lineman will return to New York for the 2023 season on a one-year deal for $4.3 million.

Bryce Huff Has Plenty of Untapped Potential to Dip Into in 2023 With Jets

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound defender initially joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis back in 2020.

He not only made the roster but became a key rotational cog in the defensive line room. In three seasons Huff has appeared in 37 games and has made seven starts during that span.

Huff has totaled 7.5 sacks, 22 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Although what is truly intriguing isn’t what he has done in the past, but rather what he can do in the future.

Last season he inexplicably only played 20 percent of the defensive snaps. The Jets also made him a healthy scratch for the first three games of the season for unknown reasons.

Some NFL experts that I’ve spoken with believe if he got a lion’s share of reps he could reach another level as a pass rusher.

The Pro Football Focus analytics from 2022 were impeccable especially when you consider the snap percentages. Huff finished with a 90.4 overall grade, a 64.9 run defense grade, and an 88.0 pass rush grade.

Huff is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in 2024 after his one-year RFA tender expires following 2023. If he can deliver this upcoming season in the sack department, a pile of money awaits him from the Jets or any of the other 31 teams in the league.

Pass Rusher Is a Massive Need for the Jets

With Huff re-signing a one-year deal, it highlights a massive need for the Jets on the defensive line.

Huff and Carl Lawson will be unrestricted free agents in 2024. There is no guarantee either player will be signed to a long-term deal.

What people often don’t understand about the NFL draft is its true purpose. It isn’t about filling your most glaring need immediately. It’s about thinking multiple steps ahead.

A rookie doesn’t sign a one-year deal, they sign multi-year contracts. General manager Joe Douglas’ job is to compete in the present while also simultaneously thinking about the future.

With that very thought in mind don’t be surprised if the Jets go after a talented pass rusher or interior defensive lineman in the first couple of rounds.

Either of those selections in the draft would fill a need and when you consider how heavily the team likes to rotate it makes even more sense.

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