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2023 New York Jets

Inside the Numbers of the Jets Free Agency Losses

So far, the Jets have lost 5 offensive and 2 defensive players to free agency, and have a couple still unsigned. They also recently traded Elijah Moore and released Braxton Berrios. Let’s take a look at why some of these players weren’t re-signed.


Mike White (QB, Miami)

Contract: 2 years, $8 million ($4 million yearly average, $8 million more in incentives)

Notable Stats: 268.1 passing yards per game, 7 yards per attempt, 0.67 TD/INT ratio, and 62.2% completion percentage in his career.

The first of the trio of Miami poachings, Mike White will become the ready-to-go emergency QB if Tua Tagovailoa gets injured again. White would have been great to keep around for the Jets as a high-quality backup who has proven he can move the ball downfield, but he arguably went to a team more in dire need of a backup like him. Alas, the Mike White era in New York has finally come to an end.

Nathan Shepherd (DT, New Orleans)

Contract: 3 years, $15 million ($5 million yearly average)

Notable Stats: 68.9 PFF defensive grade (35th of DTs), 79.5 PFF pass rush grade (9th), 2 sacks, 9 hurries, 6 hits, and 17 pressures in 2022.

A great rotational player for the Jets last season, Shepherd got big money in New Orleans. He’s a quality defensive tackle who actually had a top 10 pass rush grade, but he probably got a lot more money than the Jets were willing to offer for a player who played less than half of their defensive snaps.

Sheldon Rankins (DT, Houston)

Contract: 1 years, $9.75 million

Notable Stats: 73.1 PFF defensive grade (22nd of DTs), 4 sacks, 17 hurries, 4 hits, and 25 pressures in 2022.

Another one of the Jets defensive tackles got big money elsewhere, and Houston was the place who was able to afford his high asking price. His projected contract by PFF only averaged $6.5 million per year, so it’s completely understandable that the Jets weren’t willing to overpay to bring back Rankins given he only played half the Jets defensive snaps in 2022. He had great production and was graded highly by PFF, but he’s not worth the money. However, the Jets now have a hole at DT after losing both Rankins and Shepherd.

Nate Herbig (G, Pittsburgh)

Contract: 2 years, $8 million ($4 million yearly average)

Notable Stats: 58.0 PFF offensive grade (51st of G’s), 1 sack, 3 hits, and 18 pressures allowed in 2022.

I think losing Herbig hurts the most, since he became such a solid depth piece on the offensive line when it was completely deteriorated. In just over 700 snaps, Herbig only allowed 1 sack and 3 hits, which are really quality numbers. The Jets brought in two pieces on the offensive line in free agency after losing Herbig, but this one stings.

James Robinson (RB, New England)

Contract: 2 years, $8 million ($4 million yearly average)

Notable Stats: 59.7 PFF rushing grade (54th of RBs), 3.9 yards per rush, 2.4 yards after contact, and 12 forced missed tackles in 2022.

I actually laughed when I saw this contract, because that’s the same AAV that breakout star Jamaal Williams got with the Saints. Compared to Williams, Robinson’s stats are not even close, as he had 641 less yards and 14 less touchdowns. The Jets made the right move by keeping Ty Johnson instead, since he averaged about 1.5 more yards per rush and yards after contact than Robinson. The Patriots overpaid, and I think that’s something all Jets fans can be happy about.

Jeff Smith (WR, Giants)

Contract: 1 year, $1.175 million

Notable Stats: 71.3 PFF receiving grade, 134 receiving yards, and 66.7% catch percentage in 2022.

Jeff Smith never really saw much playing time with the Jets, only having one great game with Zach Wilson in 2022. The Jets prioritized getting other playmaking receivers in free agency, so there wasn’t much of a need to keep Smith. He does only head down the road to the Giants like Cager did last offseason.

Dan Feeney (G, Miami)

Contract: 1 year, $3.25 million

Notable Stats: 51.8 PFF offensive grade, 1 sack allowed, and 3 pressures allowed in 2022 (on 109 snaps).

Feeney was an okay, but below average depth piece to the Jets offensive line. He only played 109 snaps in 2022 and allowed a sack and 3 pressures. He got a good amount of money in Miami, and I like the Jets letting him walk and bringing in a better Wes Schweitzer and Trystan Colon for less money.


Elijah Moore (WR, Cleveland)

Trade: Jets trade Moore and a 3rd round pick for a 2nd round pick

Notable Stats: 58.1 PFF receiving grade (98th of WRs), 446 receiving yards, 56.9% catch percentage, 2.6 YAC in 2022.

This one could go either way. Moore clearly wasn’t the player he was in the second half of his rookie season. Though he was playing with far below-average quarterback play, he struggled to get yards after the catch (2.6 YAC was 9th lowest of all WRs) and catch passes coming his way (56.9% was 10th lowest of all WRs). After requesting a trade mid-way through the season, it’s probably best that the Jets and Moore finally parted ways. Moving up to the 2nd round and having back-to-back picks there now is huge (and could factor into the Rodgers trade).


Braxton Berrios (WR, Miami)

Contract: 1 year, $3.5 million

Notable Stats: 60.2 PFF receiving grade, 145 receiving yards, 56.3% catch percentage in 2022.

Like Moore, Berrios was not the player he was in 2021, so it makes sense that the Jets couldn’t agree on a price to bring him back. Berrios’ 2022 stats were less than stellar, only catching just over 55% of passes and making more mistakes than big plays. The Jets replaced him with the stronger receiver Mecole Hardman, who will also fill in returning kicks/punts.

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