Simple concept here. On any team there are certain players you would be upset if they were cut. Some would make you apoplectic, some just mildly perturbed, but it would bother you if they were cut.
On a really talented team the list might be comprised of almost every starter, a few key backups, and a special teamer or two. On a really bad team the list is likely quite a bit shorter. Presumably on every team the back of the roster guys would not upset almost anyone, and the stars would upset almost everyone.
We’re going to go at this from a cap neutral perspective, meaning we aren’t factoring in any cap consequences, good or bad, that might flow from cuts. Also, this doesn’t take into account whether or not the team has suitable replacements available. This isn’t about context and just how talent poor the Jets are. So no getting upset over backup A because there is no backup B. The only thing we’re considering is, in a vacuum, do you want this guy on the team so much you would be upset if he were cut?
Here’s my list for the Jets.
On offense I struggle to get too worked up about anybody. I can make a mild case for Robby Anderson, whom I’d like to watch develop. I’d be a bit upset if James Carpenter were cut. I want to keep Quincy Enunwa, but he won’t be on the roster this year, so he doesn’t count for this exercise. Bilal Powell is a nice player, but he’ll be 30 next year; cutting him a year or two early doesn’t really get me worked up. There are no other players that would bother me in the least on offense.
On defense there are more guys. I would be upset if Leonard Williams were cut. Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson would both have upset me greatly two years ago. Now, for different reasons (Richardson because he’s a knucklehead, Wilkerson because he was so bad last year and might not regain his form) I would only be mildly perturbed.
The two rookie safeties Maye and Adams are, for the moment, sacrosanct. They may or may not ultimately live up to their billing, but for now I very much want to watch them develop on the Jets. I am intrigued by Josh Martin and would be mildly perturbed if he were cut. Jordan Jenkins would upset me. And Darron Lee is still somebody I want to watch develop. That’s it on defense. No cornerbacks make the list. None strike me as indispensable or all that promising. No special teamers make the list.
So for me we have Carpenter, Anderson, Maye, Adams, Wilkerson, Richardson, Williams, Lee, Jenkins and Martin. Of those guys only Maye, Adams and Williams would greatly upset me. Ten players on a 90 man roster would provoke even being mildly perturbed if they weren’t on the team. That’s pretty dismal.
How about you? Who would upset you if they were cut from the Jets?