Ex-Jets Fan Favorite Predicted to Have Breakout Season With Eagles

Bryce Huff, Jets

Getty Former New York Jets pass rusher Bryce Huff trying to make a play during an NFL game.

Most of the New York Jets offseason has been built around adding new pieces to the puzzle, not losing them.

However, the biggest loss for the green and white this offseason was letting pass rusher Bryce Huff hit the open market. The former Memphis product found a new home with the Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year deal for $51.1 million.

That is the richest deal a former undrafted free agent has ever signed that didn’t play the quarterback position, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Blecher Report’s Gary Davenport predicted that Huff would more than live up to that historic contract.

“If he can come anywhere near his per-snap productivity from a year ago in a larger role in his new home, 13-15 sacks are a real possibility,” Davenport wrote. “And if Huff wreaks that kind of havoc in 2024, the Eagles may well reclaim the NFC East.”

Bryce Huff Leaving the Jets for Nothing Was a Brutal Blow

Huff’s journey in the NFL was a Hollywood script with a player from humble beginnings transforming into a dominant player at a premium position. A player who was projected to go on day three of the NFL draft (somewhere between rounds four through seven) went undrafted.

He not only made the Jets’ 53-man roster but slowly and surely carved out a role on the team. Huff never truly became a full-time starter but he proved to be a critical piece on the defensive side of the ball.

Huff only had four sacks through his first two professional seasons. However, over the last two years, he cranked up his production notching 13.5 quarterback takedowns.

A rags-to-riches story and someone the Jets developed as a homegrown talent. New York is famous for overpaying for other team’s free agents as opposed to developing their own. Huff was the breaker of the wheel but he slipped through the team’s fingers.

The Jets didn’t place the franchise tag on Huff, instead letting him hit the open market. It was the only significant player exit for the Jets this offseason.

Who Will End Up Being Right?

The Jets turned an undrafted free agent into a double-digit sack pass rusher in 2023. Was it the player? Was it the scheme?

The Jets are betting on the latter. Another thing the Jets are betting on is Huff reached his ceiling with the Jets. The coaching staff capped off his playing time at 51% of the defensive snaps back in 2021. To be candid, Huff’s playing time is an even smaller percentage than that because that was a rare circumstance in which Huff got a chance to start seven games in that year.

Outside of that campaign, he never started a game for the Jets.

In the last two years, Huff appeared in 20% and 42% of the defensive snaps respectively. Why didn’t he play more? There have been criticisms of his ability to defend the run and whether or not his body could handle a normal pass-rushing workload.

New York ultimately ended up doing an indirect one-for-one swap between Huff and veteran pass rusher Haason Reddick. Reddick is by far a better player right now at the age of 29, but there is a chance Huff could be a better player over the next three-year span at the age of 26.

Who was right? Could both teams be right? The 2024 season will reveal the results.

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