FLORHAM PARK – No pregame ceremony is planned. Fireman Ed isn’t composing a special chant. Gold watches won’t be passed out.
Without a ceremony, Sunday’s game against Green Bay will pass like too many other recent Jets’ last home games – without an invite into the NFL playoffs, everybody will pack up and go home.
Except everybody will not be returning in 2019. With the prospect of coach Todd Bowles being fired after the final game, against the Patriots in Foxboro, many changes are anticipated on an underachieving 4-10 team that’s already reached double figure losses.
The future is uncertain for these Jets. Let’s look at the players who could most be affected by the change in coaches and the demands of operating a franchise around a salary cap. Here’s the most vulnerable on the current roster:
The 39-year-old quarterback met the specifics of his one-year, $10 million contract by mentoring rookie Sam Darnold. But he was 0-3 in the games he started, so nobody is giving him another deal, especially that lucrative. Maybe he becomes a quarterbacks coach.
The Jets can save $3 million by cutting the running back, with $2 million in dead money. Although Crowell set a franchise record with 219 yards against Denver earlier in the season, he’s probably gone, especially if the Jets sign a big-time running back in free agency.
He was a valuable wide receiver after being acquired from Seattle last season, but his production fell off this season. An unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $5.5 million, his future in green and white is iffy, at best.
Starting left tackles are valuable assets in this league and although Beachum is not Pro Bowl caliber he could be back because of the Jets’ lack of offensive line depth. His cap number next season is $9.5 million, of which the Jets would save $8 million by cutting him.
Left something to be desired as a center, but his play at guard was more acceptable. Has a cap number of $6.5 million and the team would save the full amount by releasing him. His future probably will be dictated by who the Jets add through free agency.
The right guard has played well enough to merit consideration for next season. Remember, however, that the Jets can save his complete cap number of $6.5 million by cutting him. Another lineman who will be watching the free agent signings to see where he might be going.
One of the most durable and dependable Jets until he went on injured reserve, because of a shoulder injury, on Nov. 27. The 25th overall pick, by Seattle in 2011, the left guard started 58 straight games until he was disabled. The unrestricted free agent, who turns 30 in March, made $6.8 million this season.
The Jets expected more from the defensive end this season, but his numbers were pedestrian at best. Still, he could be back, even with a cap number of $14.2 million. Provided he’s still general manager, Mike Macagian isn’t going to admit he made a mistake with a sixth overall pick.
The cornerback is an unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $16 million in 2019. Still, he could be back if the Jets look for help in other places than the secondary in free agency and with their higher draft picks. Put him in the still- to-be determined category.
The versatile defensive back is an unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $8.5 million. Unless he wants a change of scenery, he should be back, as long as his contract demands are reasonable. Skrine is considered a good clubhouse influence on younger players.
Staff writer Andy Vasquez contributed to this article.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold talks about his mindset on making scrambling plays after a 29-22 loss to the Texans on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018.
Andy Vasquez, Staff Writer, @andy_vasquez