Jets $14.5 Million Vet Predicted to ‘Get the Guillotine’ in Last-Second Cut

Jordan Whitehead

Getty New York Jets safety Jordan Whitehead could be cut after one season with the organization.

Although NFL free agency technically begins on March 15, the legal tampering period is just hours away here on March 13.

Before New York Jets nation fully submerges itself into free agency coverage, our writers Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr. and Michael Obermuller are back with one more mailbag column ahead of the madness. Today will get into confidence level on an Aaron Rodgers trade, most likely UFAs to re-sign, the first NYJ move of free agency, final cap casualties, and more.

First a look at our previous weekly discussions:

NFL Free Agency Is Here: Jets Rumors, Late Cuts, & Signings

1. The Jets have already cut a few players ahead of free agency, headlined by WR Braxton Berrios. Who is the next cap casualty, if any?


I’ll get a little crazy here and say safety, Jordan Whitehead. I think general manager Joe Douglas reaches out to the top of the safety market and goes fishing.

If he catches a bite, he will balance negotiating that new deal while also being ready to pull the plug on Whitehead.

That additional $7.25 million from a Whitehead cut will result in landing a huge fish in free agency at the safety spot. If that comes to fruition, the Jets would unquestionably have the best secondary in all of football and I don’t think it would be particularly close.


After the Chuck Clark trade, I have to agree with my partner. Whitehead has the look of a classic “odd man out” here.

As of now, you have Clark (another strong safety) and second-year prospect Tony Adams locked into roster spots at the position, plus Will Parks re-signed as veteran depth for training camp and Ashtyn Davis heading into year four of his rookie deal.

Davis could be cut as well, with his salary bumping up to $2.743 million in 2023, but I’ll concur that Whitehead is the next Jets veteran to get the guillotine given the general feel that the front office isn’t done adding at the position.

2. After the news that linebacker Quincy Williams has re-signed, who is the next MOST LIKELY Jets free agent to return in 2023?


Oh, good question. I’ll say, Bryce Huff.

He is a restricted free agent, but I think the team finds a way to lock him in. Head coach Robert Saleh spoke virtually during the NFL Combine week and said that he wants to retain as many of the defensive pieces from last season as he can. With Quincy retained, I think the next natural step is signing Huff to a long-term deal.

All they have to do is tender him to restrict him from reaching the open market, but I’d go above and beyond to lock him in for the future.


I’ve gone on record before in saying that I think most of the Jets’ free agents will walk in 2023 — especially on offense. Guys like George Fant, Connor McGovern, Mike White, Joe Flacco, Nate Herbig, James Robinson and more are all leaving in my opinion.

On defense, Sheldon Rankins and Kwon Alexander are toss-ups as well, with lesser-name players like Solomon Thomas or Vinny Curry that could also go either way. I’m a little nervous the Jets will drop the ball on re-signing Greg Zuerlein too, because they always do that with kickers.

In the end, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ll choose Nathan Shepherd. Saleh loves the longest-tenured Jet on the roster for his hard work and “strain” and they’ll need to sign or draft two to three D-tackles over the offseason. Plus, the NYJ fanbase can’t stand “Shep” as a player so naturally, he will re-sign with minimal concern.

3. Predict the first non-NYJ UFA that the Jets sign in free agency this year.


It’s weird how little noise we’ve heard about placekicker Greg Zuerlein. So, maybe the Jets are going to dive back into the San Francisco 49ers’ roots and secure former All-Pro kicker Robbie Gould.

He is going to test the open market after failing to come to an agreement with the 49ers. He would bring legitimate playoff experience, a reliable leg, and some stability to a position that hasn’t seen it in quite some time.


Interesting choice. My answer will be a necessary one — center Ben Jones, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans on March 10.

Obviously, the Jets have ties to Tennesse after the coaching hires of Keith Carter (OL/run game coordinator) and Todd Downing (passing game coordinator), and Jones could act as a temporary stopgap at center — or a key veteran backup on the interior if Gang Green elects to draft a youngster at the position.

They need both, with McGovern, Herbig and versatile backup Dan Feeney all set to hit free agency. This Jones signing would add some much-needed insurance and still allow for Douglas to go another direction at the position later if he chooses.

Final Word on Aaron Rodgers to the Jets

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried are you that the Aaron Rodgers trade doesn’t get done?

Boy Green:

I guess as a Jets fan you are programmed to expect the worst and hope for the best. However, I’m strangely confident that this is going to happen despite all of the delays in announcing this.

I’ll put it on the 2-3 scale of worry. Would I have preferred this trade get announced days ago or at the latest, over the weekend? Of course, but as long as he comes here, that is all that matters.

On the flip side, if they don’t get him? The options at QB dry up real quick and our Super Bowl hopes become something much worse with a random signal-caller inserted in there.


Some Jets fans are at a 10 and have been for the past week, but like my partner, I just can’t see this going south. I think the hold-up is this insanely complex contract and the fact that three parties are negotiating through it during trade talks.

You have the Jets, Rodgers’ camp, and the Green Bay Packers. That’s no simple deal on Madden.

Having said all of that, I’ll put my worry-meter at a 2 here on Monday morning, because it’s never a zero for us Jets fans.

5. If Rodgers does agree to be traded to the Jets, who breaks the story first?


There are three prominent options that I’m aware of. ESPN’s Dianna Russini has seemingly been as on top of this story as you can be throughout this process.

Former NFL general manager Randy Mueller predicted Pat McAfee on his program.

I’m putting my money on Aaron Rodgers putting on his best Adam Schefter impersonation and breaking the news himself though — with some joke about no one knowing anything about him. He is a strange cat and I can see him trying to announce this trade in a very unique way.


How about a combination of Boy Green’s answer?

It’s got to be Rodgers announcing it himself on the Pat McAfee Show, right?? Only problem with that theory is — that means the Jets would have to wait until his weekly Tuesday spot on March 14 to know for sure.

Although, it’s certainly possible that they agree to everything ahead of time and let Rodgers announce it when he pleases. Who knows, maybe they’ve agreed already.