The veteran purge in New York continued Tuesday as the Jets cut 10-year veteran linebacker, David Harris. They also reportedly informed Eric Decker that he will either be traded or released by the end of the week.
Decker and Harris join a long list of veterans that will not return to the team in 2017. Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Nick Mangold are also members of the former Jet Club, circa offseason 2017. Safety Calvin Pryor was traded to the Browns just last week.
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Harris posted 62 tackles in 15 games for the Jets last season and has a reputation as a great locker room presence. At 33-years old, Harris is still a productive player. However, due $6.5 million this year, the rebuilding Jets found him too expensive. Rookie Darron Lee and Demario Davis will fill the vacancy left by Harris.
Decker signed a five-year deal with the Jets in 2014 after several successful seasons with the Broncos. Decker enjoyed a fine start to his career with the Jets. In 30 games over the first two season, Decker caught 17 touchdowns for a shade under 2,000 yards. He had 154 receptions over those two seasons.
However, in 2016, Decker missed 13 games due to injury. He caught just two touchdowns and added nine receptions for 194 yards. The Jets will now rely on a very young receiving corps for whoever is throwing the ball when the regular season begins. 2017 draftees’ ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen will join a group of Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, and Charon Peake in the receivers room.
After a 5-11 season, and a last-place finish in the AFC East, it makes sense that a total roster upheaval was in order. The Jets were embarrassed at times throughout the season and lacked a lot of veteran leadership. Jets management decided its time to hand the keys over to the young guys and build from there.
It’s still unclear how this affects head coach Todd Bowles. Presumably, Bowles entered the season on the hot seat and now he is entering a season in the Jets have already conceded. Bowles one opportunity to stick with the Jets is to get the young players to buy into what he is teaching and prove he is the man to rebuild the Jets.