Legion of Doom

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets have double digit draft picks, oodles of cap space for free agents and several returning injured players they will find room for in 2014. Who from the closing roster of 2013 will be axed to make room?

The NY Jets are about to undergo a major transformation.  As soon as the Super Bowl is over, teams can begin cutting players.  In mid March, a new league year begins, opening up free agency and allowing once again for trades.  In May comes the draft, followed immediately by undrafted free agent signings, and in June come the June 1 cuts.  By the time the smoke clears, training camp is over and a new season begins, as much as 40% or more of the Jets 53 man roster will have been swept away and replaced with new, presumably better players.  Who is likely to return, and who is likely to have seen his last days as a Jet?  The following chart of the Jets' 53 man roster for the last game of 2013 sets forth my best guess as to who will stay and who will go.

Stay

Go

QBs

Geno Smith

X

David Garrard

X

Matt Simms

X

RBs

Chris Ivory

X

Bilal Powell

X

Alex Green

X

Tommy Bohannon

X

TEs

Kellen Winslow

X

Jeff Cumberland

X

Zach Sudfeld

X

Chris Pantale

X

WRs

Jeremy Kerley

X

Santonio Holmes

X

Stephen Hill

X

Greg Salas

X

David Nelson

X

Saalim Hakim

X

OL

Willie Colon

X

Nick Mangold

X

D' Brickashaw Ferguson

X

Brian Winters

X

Austin Howard

X

Oday Aboushi

X

William Campbell

X

Caleb Schlauderaff

X

Ben Ijalana

X

Vlad Ducasse

X

DL

Sheldon Richardson

X

Muhammad Wilkerson

X

Damon Harrison

X

Leger Douzable

X

Kenrick Ellis

X

LB

David Harris

X

Demario Davis

X

Quinton Coples

X

Calvin Pace

X

Garrett McIntyre

X

Nick Bellore

X

Jermaine Cunningham

X

CB

Dee Milliner

X

Antonio Cromartie

X

Kyle Wilson

X

Darrin Walls

X

Isaiah Trufant

X

Ellis Lankster

X

S

Dawan Landry

X

Antonio Allen

X

Ed Reed

X

Jaiquawn Jarrett

X

Josh Bush

X

ST

Ryan Quigley

X

Nick Folk

X

Tanner Purdum

X

I have a total of 21 players who are not going to return in 2014.  The Jets' Legion of Doom, if you will.

The players marked for extinction are not necessarily the ones I would choose if I were the GM.  As just one example, the chart shows Calvin Pace returning, because both parties seem interested in making that happen, even though I think it best for the Jets to move on.  Rather, they are my best guess as to whom John Idzik will eventually replace with players returning from injury, players chosen in the NFL draft, players the Jets trade for, and players signed as free agents.  Note that the departing players are not necessarily untalented, nor underperforming.  They just for one reason or another are unlikely in my view to be returning.  Among the more controversial selections might be Antonio Cromartie, Garrett McIntyre, Willie Colon, Nick Folk and Tanner Purdum.

Cromartie is a talented cornerback, but he is damaged goods who just went through an awful year, is prohibitively expensive, and will be 30 in 2014.  Although the Jets might reach an agreement with him for a severe reduction in salary, I think it more likely he will be cut and the Jets will sign one of the many quality free agent cornerbacks on the market, perhaps Captain Munnerlyn.

McIntyre is a high motor, low ability guy who has probably maxed out his potential.  He's not terrible, but he will turn 30 in 2014, and  I think the Jets will either draft a younger, cheaper replacement this year or add an outside linebacker in free agency, so sayonara Garrett.

Willie Colon did a pretty good job in 2013, but by season's end he was once again injured, a recurring theme with him.  He will turn 31 in 2014, and I expect the Jets to either draft a replacement, find a replacement in the young backups on the roster, or sign a better, younger guard in free agency, possibly Jon Asamoah.

Purdum has done a very nice job with the Jets, but he will turn 30 in 2014, and his minimum salary is starting to get a bit expensive for a position that should be fairly easily replaced.  I think this is the year the Jets sign a younger, cheaper, minimum salary replacement.

Finally, Nick Folk had a great year in 2013.  But that great year means he is probably looking for a much higher salary for multiple years.  Folk had been one of the worst kickers in the NFL until 2013; chances are he will suffer regression back to the mean in 2014 and beyond.  I think the Jets will be unwilling to pay up for a pedestrian kicker who had a career year in 2013.  Folk's run with the Jets may be over.

In all I list 21 players from the closing 53 man roster who will not be here on Opening Day 2014.  Again, these are not necessarily the players I think should be gone; they are the players I think John Idzik will be finding replacements for, for better or for worse.  If the 21 players figure is anywhere near accurate we are about to see a transformation of the Jets roster unlike anything we've seen in a long time.

What about you?  Which players do you think are about to join the Jets' Legion of Doom?  Tell me who you think Idzik will replace and why, and who you disagree with on my list and why.  The life of an NFL player is short, nasty and brutish.  The Jets' lives of a large part of the roster are about to run out.  Which ones are about to become footnotes in the Jets' history books?

X
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