NFL.com Hours after New York released veteran linebacker David Harris, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan told reporters Tuesday the Jets will release wide receiver Eric Decker if they can’t trade him. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the team’s latest roster-gutting maneuver. While chopping Harris saves $6.5 million against the salary cap, dumping Decker creates another $5.75 million in space. Decker’s 2016 season was a wash, with the 30-year-old pass-catcher landing on injured reserve in October with a torn rotator cuff. He underwent hip surgery and an operation on his shoulder and was still in a red non-contact jersey during Monday’s organized team activities — his last in New York.
I have heard speculation from some NFL “experts” recently that the New York Jets may surprise some folks in 2017 and be quietly good, but I cannot agree, because moves like this signal a full rebuild. The Jets are releasing veterans, saving cap room, and finding room for their young players to get playing time and gain experience. The Jets will spend the 2017 evaluating their young players, especially 2016 second round draft pick quarterback Christian Hackenberg, to determine how much talent is on the roster and discover where the holes that need to be addresssd may be. I do not think the Jets will be good in 2017, they need to determine if Christian Hackenberg is their franchise quarterback of the future, if he is they will need to get him some help in the offensive line and at wide receivers and if he’s not the Jets can find their quarterback of the future at the top of the very strong 2018 NFL Draft.
As for Eric Decker and David Harris: Harris is not the player he once was, but he can still be a productive two down linebacker, and I expect him to catch on in the middle of a 3-4 defense. Eric Decker needs to prove he is healthy, but many teams could use his talents as a possession receiver, two that come to mind are the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.