Jets Lose ‘Major Piece’, Signs Historic Contract in Free Agency: Report

New York Jets fan

Getty A New York Jets fan reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

The New York Jets were just dealt a major blow.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter revealed on social media that the Philadelphia Eagles signed defensive lineman Bryce Huff to a three-year deal for $51.1 million. “The deal will make Huff the highest-paid non-QB undrafted free agent in NFL history,” Schefter said.

Brian Costello of the New York Post called Huff a “major piece” that New York lost in free agency.

Jets Fans Set Social Media Ablaze After Huff Leaves in Free Agency

Jets content creator Matt O’Leary posted on X previously Twitter, “I’m sorry, if the Jets do something good I’d be the first to say it. They handled this wrong. They made a mistake with Bryce Huff.”

Connor Hughes of SNY openly called into question the Jets draft strategy from a year ago. They took pass rusher Will McDonald with the No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.

In a lot of ways, the epitaph of Huff’s career with the Jets was written last April even if the final result is being delivered in March nearly a year later.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic revealed on social media that Huff was a “top target” for the Eagles right “out of the gate” in free agency. “That is a Howie [Roseman] player through and through,” a source described to Russini.

Insider Reveals Brutal Honesty About Huff-Jets Situation

“The Jets wanted to keep Bryce Huff. The Jets just knew that probably wasn’t going to happen and you saw why during the opening day of the legal tampering period. Huff is headed to Philadelphia on a contract that is going to pay him $17 million dollars annually,” Hughes revealed.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated said, “The Jets don’t have the wiggle room to spend what it’d take to keep him — question is whether Huff’s production stands up without New York’s Quinnen Williams-led front around him.”

Gang Green is making an educated bet. The system they have crafted on defense with head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich can produce regardless of who is on the field.

If they are right, the Jets will be able to get that same production at a fraction of the cost. That’ll be easier said than done.

McDonald played in the fewest amount of snaps by a Jets first-rounder in over 18 years. He showed flashes registering three sacks and five quarterback hits.

Huff in what turned out to be his final season with the Jets recorded a career-high 10 sacks. To thrust those expectations on McDonald in year No. 2 seems inherently unfair and somewhat unrealistic.

To the Jets’ credit, they are doubling down on their initial investment. Saleh said McDonald could be a “superstar” in this defense. General manager Joe Douglas couldn’t stop heaping praise on the former Iowa State product at his end-of-season presser.

If the team is right it’ll help soften the blow of losing Huff. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Huff slowly worked his way up from a role player to a key piece of the team. Now he will be a key piece of a Super Bowl contender in the NFC.

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