Jets Not Planning To Tag DE Bryce Huff

FEBRUARY 28: One of the top edge defenders set to be available on the market, Huff will be assured — barring an extension — of reaching free agency. Joe Douglas confirmed Wednesday (via’s Mike Garafolo) the Jets are not planning to use the tag to retain Huff. After the cap spike to $255.4MM, it would cost the Jets $21.32MM to tag their 2023 sack leader.

FEBRUARY 15: This year’s franchise tag outlook appears to feature a higher number of likely recipients compared to 2023. The Jets could factor into this mix, but their roster makeup also might not support it. Absent a tag, the team’s exclusive negotiating rights with Bryce Huff expire March 11.

The Jets have until 3pm CT on March 5 to tag Huff, but as of now, that should not be expected. The Jets are unlikely to use the tag in an effort to keep Huff away from free agency,’s Rich Cimini notes. The team did not make much of an effort to extend Huff during the season, failing to make an offer. But the Jets still want to re-sign the UDFA success story.

They are running out of time to do so, and Huff has said he will not consider a hometown discount in order to keep going as a Jet. Although the Jets have used Huff as more of a rotational rusher, he led the team with 10 sacks — after failing to register four in any of his prior seasons — and paced the NFL in pressure percentage. Huff’s 21.8% pressure rate surpassed second-place Micah Parsons (20.8%), Cimini adds. Though, Parsons’ number is a bit more impressive considering the Cowboys phenom hit that number playing 864 defensive snaps; Huff logged only 480. That makes pinpointing his value a bit difficult, and the Jets’ defensive end depth chart adds to this unusual equation.

Although the Jets were widely believed to be targeting Georgia tackle Broderick Jones in last year’s first round, they wound up with Will McDonald at No. 15. New York held the No. 13 overall pick but sent it to Green Bay as part of the Aaron Rodgers trade. After the Jets slid down two spots, the Steelers climbed up to No. 14 — viewing Jones as Gang Green’s target — to draft the high-end O-line prospect. McDonald played far less than Huff last season, seeing action on only 19% of the Jets’ defensive snaps. Unless the team wants to keep a top-15 pick in that reduced role, it may need to make a sacrifice involving Huff.

I would absolutely hate to lose him,” Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich said (via Cimini), “but he’s a guy that has earned every penny that he’s about to make.”

Pro Football Focus also viewed Huff as one of the NFL’s worst run defenders among edges, injecting some “buyer beware” into this situation. Though, defensive ends are largely paid to pressure quarterbacks. Huff not being tagged will open the floodgates for a team that views the Memphis alum as an untapped resource. Huff’s 480 defensive snaps last season were by far a career-high number. The 6-foot-3 DE also said he wants to be part of a team that views him as a three-down player. His 2023 usage rate and McDonald’s presence makes that a complicated matter for the Jets, who hold just more than $4MM in cap space as of Thursday.

It would cost approximately $23.35MM for the Jets to tag Huff, who played fewer defensive snaps than teammates John Franklin-Myers and Jermaine Johnson. Only the QB tag checks in higher than what it will cost a team to cuff a defensive end. With the Jets needing immediate help at tackle and suddenly in need of a starter-caliber wide receiver — despite the additions of Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman last year — the team allocating the bulk of its free agency budget to helping Rodgers on offense makes sense. Woody Johnson‘s mandate of sorts — as Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas attempt to keep their jobs — all but assured the Jets will focus on offense this offseason.

The Panthers are likely to tag Brian Burns, and the Jaguars are not expected to let Josh Allen hit the market. Quality edge rushers are on track to be available — from Danielle Hunter to Chase Young to Jonathan Greenard to Dorance Armstrong — but Huff will reside as an upper-echelon commodity if he reaches free agency.

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