Jets Veteran Alters Contract, Guarantees Roster Spot: Report

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh walking down the sideline during an NFL game.

A New York Jets veteran is officially staying put in 2023.

Rich Cimini of ESPN shared on Twitter that veteran defensive back Jordan Whitehead has “restructured his contract.”

The new move has created $5.3 million in cap savings for 2023, per Over The Cap.

Whitehead’s “non-guaranteed” portion of his base salary was converted into a signing bonus, per Cimini. That maneuver dropped his expected cap charge for 2023 from $10.2 million to $4.9 million.

Whitehead was entering the final year of the $14.5 million contract he originally signed during the 2022 offseason. Instead of cleanly coming off the books next year, there will be a $3.3 million cap hit when the deal voids.

Cali Jets on Twitter was the first to share the Whitehead contract news on social media.

Jordan Whitehead Will Be on the Jets in 2023

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic said Whitehead “could’ve been cut” at some point this offseason to save over $7 million in cap savings.

However, with this alteration to Whitehead’s contract, his 53-man roster spot is now secure. If the Jets decided to cut him now, they would incur an $8.2 million dead cap hit, per Over The Cap.

The former Pittsburgh product did start all 17 games at safety last season for the Jets, but there was a significant dropoff in his play, according to the Pro Football Focus grades.


  • 66.1 overall
  • 59.4 run defense
  • 51.7 pass rush
  • 70.6 coverage


  • 74.9 overall
  • 81.5 run defense
  • 53.2 pass rush
  • 72.2 coverage

That led to rampant speculation this offseason the Jets could be seeking an upgrade whether that came from free agency, April’s draft, or even the trade market.

A Big Move Coming for the Jets in 2023?

With this recent maneuver, the Jets now have $24.4 million available in cap space. Cali Jets was the first one to point this out on Twitter.

The Jets now have the third most cap space in the NFL only behind the Carolina Panthers ($27 million) and the Chicago Bears ($33 million), per Over The Cap.

Could that mean a big move is on the horizon for the Jets?

Head coach Robert Saleh confirmed during his media availability on Wednesday, May 31 that the team isn’t planning on pursuing free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

That would’ve been an obvious reason to create immediate cap space, but it doesn’t seem like that is in the Jets’ plans.

The other obvious maneuver is extending defensive tackle Quinnen Williams on a long-term contract.

The more money Gang Green creates in 2023, the bigger piece of the pie they could eat on a potential Williams extension this year.

This Whitehead contract alteration is a clear example that the cap is a myth. Despite heading into the last year of his contract, the Jets added four additional void years strictly from a cap perspective so they could spread the hit instead of eating it in 2023.

New York will have that same flexibility in a Williams mega extension.

The latest social media activity from Williams on Twitter was a curious like on the bird app.

A Twitter user called, “JoeyJets” shared that New York and Q aren’t debating about “actual money” and he isn’t asking for “Aaron Donald money.”

Instead, the apparent hangup is over the length of the contract and the “guarantees that come with it.” Williams liked that tweet.

Read More