The New York Jets have declined team options for 2019 on the contracts of defensive tackle Mike Pennel, safety Terrence Brooks and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis. By declining the team options on these three players the Jets incurred an aggregate $2.835 dead money hit while freeing up $5.6 million in cap space.
The most surprising of these moves involves Pennel, who evolved into an effective run stuffing nose tackle in 2018 and was on a relatively inexpensive team friendly contract. The Jets are changing defenses with Gregg Williams as their new defensive coordinator in 2019. It appears Williams is no Pennel fan and does not think Pennel would be a good fit in the new scheme.
The other two players, Terrence Brooks and Kevin Pierre-Louis, were primarily special teams contributors, with occasional forays into defensive snaps. The Jets had one of the best special teams units in the NFL last year, and are retaining the special teams coach, so it is perhaps a bit surprising two of the players most involved in the top unit with relatively inexpensive contracts are being jettisoned. All three players are now slated to become free agents when the new 2019 NFL year starts on March 13.
With $100 million+ in cap space and a plethora of new coaches it was inevitable a slew of changes would be coming for the 2019 season. This is just the beginning. By the time the team is through with trades, free agency and the draft we will be looking at a massively transformed roster.
What do you think of these moves? Should all three of these players have been let loose? If not, who would you have retained? Let us know in the section cleverly marked “comments” below.