C.J. Mosley (LB)

Jets, LB C.J. Mosley Agree To Extension

C.J. Mosley stumbled to a rocky start with the Jets, but the former Ravens draftee has since reclaimed his place as one of the NFL’s best linebackers. The Jets are rewarding the veteran defender as a result.

No guaranteed money remained in place on Mosley’s through-2024 Jets deal, but ESPN.com’s Field Yates indicates the sides agreed on a two-year, $17.25MM deal that includes $13.25MM in additional guarantees.

The guarantees will ensure Mosley is part of the 2024 Jets, and the second year stands to give the team an option on a player who was previously set to be a 2025 free agent. The 31-year-old defender will receive $9MM fully guaranteed for 2024. The Jets will benefit in 2024, as the deal will lower Mosley’s $21.5MM cap hit.

On his new contract, Mosley will receive base salaries of $1.21MM (2024) and $8.25MM (’25). The decorated linebacker’s 2024 cap hit will drop by around $14MM, with it now checking in at $7.2MM, per OverTheCap. Mosley will have $4.25MM in 2025 guarantees. Three void years are now on the deal as well; the Jets would be charged $7.65MM in dead money if they do not re-sign Mosley before the 2026 league year.

Mosley signed a then-record-setting (by a wide margin) contract to join the Jets back in 2019. Then-GM Mike Maccagnan gave the former Ravens first-rounder a five-year, $85MM deal. Because Mosley opted out due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020, his contract tolled to 2024. No guarantees remained on the Pro Bowler’s deal, which was set to void next year.

Forming a high-end tandem with Quincy Williams, Mosley has shined over the past three seasons. Missing only one game in that span, Mosley has strung together back-to-back 150-plus-tackle slates and collected his first All-Pro honor — a second-team selection — in 2022. Pro Football Focus graded Mosley as a top-10 off-ball ‘backer last season and viewed him as the position’s premier coverage player. As teams search for three-down linebackers with this skill, Mosley has rewarded the Jets.

While Maccagnan ended up being fired weeks after signing Mosley and drafting Quinnen Williams, those two remain the team’s front-seven centerpieces. Each is now signed beyond 2024, with Williams having inked a lucrative extension going into training camp last year. Mosley, who will turn 32 this summer, saw injury trouble end his Jets debut after two games. While the team did not see any return on its monster investment until Year 3 of the deal, the belated rewards have come in as Robert Saleh‘s defense has been one of the NFL’s best over the past two years. Mosley has been a central part of that.

Jets Notes: Rodgers, Whitehead, Mosley

Aaron Rodgers underwent surgery on his torn Achilles in Los Angeles yesterday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Jets quarterback posted on Instagram that the surgery “went great” and he’s “on the road to recovery.”

While Rodgers is now focused on his rehab, the fallout from the future Hall of Famer’s season-ending injury continues. According to Dianna Russini and Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic, Rodgers was not a fan of the play calls that involved cut blocks, and he voiced his displeasure to the coaching staff. Two of the QB’s four snaps on Monday night involved the cut block, including the play that injured Rodgers.

Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, who spent years blocking for Rodgers, also noticed the team’s peculiar blocking strategy.

“I blocked for Aaron for a decade,” Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari told The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “I’ve gotten a lot of s— from him about cutting and pretty much the rule of thumb, at least working with him, is you don’t cut unless Aaron says so in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage. And that’s no dig at Aaron. … When people were defending and saying that’s what they’re supposed to do, I was like: Well, clearly there’s miscommunication. Because if your coach is telling you to do that, then he doesn’t know Aaron. And I know for a fact, Aaron definitely has probably brought it up. So I’m like: You’re not all on the same page. Again, that’s not the reason why (the sack) happened. There’s so many other factors.”

Blame has also been placed on MetLife Stadium’s turf. Michael Rosenberg of SI.com spoke to three experts on Achilles tendons, and while they acknowledged that turf could certainly cause injuries, it’s unlikely to cause this type of injury.

More notes out of New York…

  • Jordan Whitehead was a standout in Week 1 for the Jets, with his performance earning him AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The safety also managed to secure one of his season-long incentives in just one game, with his three interceptions earning him a $250K bonus, per ESPN’s Field Yates. Whitehead signed a two-year, $14.5MM deal with the Jets last March.
  • As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes, Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley had his $17MM non-guaranteed salary locked in during the season opener. After being limited to only two games during his first season with the Jets, Mosley has emerged as a defensive leader in New York over the past two seasons, collecting 326 tackles in 33 games. The veteran inked a five-year, $85MM deal with the Jets back in 2019.
  • While the Jets continue to scour the market for some reinforcement at quarterback, Zach Wilson will be the definitive QB1 moving forward. While Rodgers will be sidelined for the entire 2023 campaign, the veteran quarterback still had a lasting impact on his younger counterpart. “I feel like I’ve been trying to copy every little thing he’s doing, from his footwork to the coaching tips he has given us,” Wilson said today (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini). “He’s done an amazing job, more than we could ask for as quarterbacks.”

Jets Approached LB C.J. Mosley Over Restructure

The Jets have already agreed to a re-worked contract once with linebacker C.J. Mosley. The parties may end up doing so again as they continue exploring their financial options this offseason.

New York has approached Mosley’s agent about a restructure, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello. The 30-year-old is due to count $21.5MM on the Jets’ capsheet for each of the next two seasons. That setup is the result of the re-worked contract the sides agreed to before the start of the 2022 campaign, which also saw two void years tacked onto the deal.

Mosley signed a five-year, $85MM pact in 2019, one which helped raise the ceiling of contracts at the position. He joined the Jets with substantial expectations given those terms, along with his level of play with the Ravens at the start of his career. However, the former first-rounder played just two games in his first year in the Big Apple and opted out of the 2020 season.

He has delivered much more signficant performances in the past two years, though. Mosley logged seasons of 168 and 158 tackles in 2021 and ’22, respectively, adding three sacks, nine pass deflections and one interception over that span. He was named a Pro Bowler and earned second-team All-Pro honors for the fifth time in his career last season. Lowering his cap hit would would have obvious benefits in the short-term future, though adding further to his cap burden down the line represents a notable downside.

“They talked to my agent. I’m not really concerned or worried about it too much,” Mosley said about the situation. “I come here to work every day, focused on getting better and trying to win a championship and being the best player I can be. Whatever happens, happens. It hasn’t been a concern.”

The Jets currently have $24.8MM in cap space, but they have yet to work out a new deal with Aaron Rodgers, something which will be necessary to avoid a 2024 cap hit of over $107MM. Moving on from Mosley, meanwhile, would result in considerable dead money charges in each of the next two years, providing potential incentive to agree to another restructure this offseason. It will be interesting to monitor how the Jets proceed with their remaining financial hurdles given their win-now approach.

Jets Restructure LB C.J. Mosley’s Contract

Already in better shape than most teams in terms of 2022 cap space, the Jets manufactured significantly more breathing room today. New York restructured the contract of linebacker C.J. Mosley, per ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). 

As a result of the move, Mosley will see $14.88MM of his base salary converted into a signing bonus, helping to create $11.9MM in cap space for the 2022 season. Two void years have also been tacked on to his deal, which expires in 2024.

The 30-year-old signed a market-altering five-year, $85MM deal in free agency in 2019. The contract’s $17MM annual average value was a record for inside linebackers at the time, and has since been surpassed only by Shaquille Leonard and Fred Warner. In the two years following that contract being signed, however, the four-time Pro Bowler played in just a pair of games due to injury and opting out of the 2020 campaign.

That led to Mosley being frequently named as a trade candidate. Last March, the Jets fielded calls on him, but they elected to keep him in the fold. Finally healthy and available again in 2021, he ranked fourth in the NFL with 168 tackles, adding two sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. Encouraged by that performance, perhaps, this financial move likely ensures that Mosely will remain with the team for at least one more season.

Mosley’s 2023 and 2024 cap hits will now rise to $21.48MM. No guaranteed money remains out of the outstanding $50MM left to be paid out on the deal. Nevertheless, the team’s dead cap charge would outweigh their savings in the event of a release or trade prior to June 1 next year. Given the cumbersome cap hit, however, an extension could be in play, or perhaps more likely, an attempt to get Mosley to take a pay cut like Jamison Crowder did last year.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Defense

After looking at this year’s top salary cap numbers on the offensive side of the ball, here is a rundown of the players counting the most toward their teams’ payrolls in 2022.

As could be expected, the salary figures here start below the quarterbacks. A few pass rushers, however, are tied to notable cap hits. Those numbers that check in within the top 20 leaguewide regardless of position. With the exception of true nose tackles and pure slot cornerbacks, every defensive position is represented here.

Here are the top cap figures on the defensive side for the ’22 season:

  1. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $31.12MM
  2. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $29.42MM
  3. Joey Bosa, OLB (Chargers): $28.25MM
  4. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $27.3MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DT (Rams): $27MM
  6. Jalen Ramsey, CB (Rams): $23.2MM
  7. Deion Jones, LB (Falcons): $20.1MM
  8. Bud Dupree, OLB (Titans): $19.2MM
  9. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.85MM
  10. Javon Hargrave, DT (Eagles): $17.8MM
  11. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $17.5MM
  12. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $17.42MM
  13. Robert Quinn, DE (Bears): $17.14MM
  14. Matt Judon, OLB (Patriots): $16.5MM
  15. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $16MM
  16. Shaquill Griffin, CB (Jaguars): $16.44MM
  17. Tre’Davious White, CB (Bills): $16.4MM
  18. J.J. Watt, DL (Cardinals): $15.9MM
  19. Marcus Peters, CB (Ravens): $15.5MM
  20. Carl Lawson, DE (Jets): $15.33MM
  21. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $15.1MM
  22. Lavonte David, LB (Buccaneers): $14.79MM
  23. Budda Baker, S (Cardinals): $14.78MM
  24. Romeo Okwara, DE (Lions): $14.5MM
  25. Trey Hendrickson, DE (Bengals): $14.49MM
  • Illustrating how much the cap has climbed over the past several seasons, T.J. Watt is tied to a number nearly twice that of J.J. Watt, who has been tied to $16.7MM-per-year (a defender-record number in 2014) and $14MM-AAV deals as a pro. Trailing his older brother in Defensive Player of the Year honors, T.J. is signed to an edge defender-record $28MM-per-year accord.
  • Jones’ four-year Chiefs deal vaults from an $8.5MM cap number in 2021 to the league’s second-highest defensive figure this year. The standout defensive tackle’s cap hit accompanies Patrick Mahomes‘ $35.79MM number, which is well north of his 2021 figure, on Kansas City’s new-look payroll.
  • After two franchise tags, Williams scored a monster extension in 2021. The well-paid Giants D-lineman’s cap number this year is way up from his 2021 number ($9.4MM).
  • The Rams redid Donald’s contract last month, adding no new years to the through-2024 pact. The all-world defender’s cap hit actually decreases in 2023, dropping to $26MM
  • It is not certain Deion Jones will be back with the Falcons, who have jettisoned other Super Bowl LI cornerstones from the roster since the current regime took over in 2021. But they would save just $1MM were they to release the seventh-year linebacker.
  • To date, this represents the high-water mark for Mosley cap hits on his Jets deal, which at the time (2019) began a sea change for off-ball linebacker contracts. Mosley’s cap hit, on a pact that runs through 2024 because of the linebacker opting out of the 2020 season, increased by $10MM from 2021-22.
  • Hargrave is one of five Eagles pass rushers signed to veteran contracts. The ex-Steeler’s 2021 deal accompanies Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Fletcher Cox‘s new agreement on Philadelphia’s defensive front. As cap hits do not reflect average salaries, Hargrave is the only member of this quartet tied to an eight-figure cap number in 2022.
  • Quinn has also been connected to a departure, with the 31-year-old pass rusher skipping minicamp after it became known he would like to be traded away from the rebuilding team. His cap hit tops the Bears’ payroll. The Bears would save $12.9MM by trading Quinn, should another team sign up for taking on his full 2022 base salary.

Trade Candidate: Jets LB C.J. Mosley

When C.J. Mosley inked a five-year, $85MM deal with the Jets during the 2019 offseason, the linebacker was expected to lead the team’s defense for at least the next half-decade. He’s certainly looked the part of a defensive stalwart through two games with the organization, collecting nine tackles, a pick-six, and a fumble recovery.

However, Mosley suffered a groin injury that ultimately sidelined him for all but two games during the 2019 season. The veteran ended up opting out of the 2020 campaign, meaning he’s only seen times in two games through two years. The Jets certainly haven’t received a return on their investment, and rival teams believe they may be able to make a move for the former Pro Bowler…we learned back in March that the front office had received calls on Mosley.

To be clear, those reports indicated that the Jets were receiving the trade calls, not necessarily initiating the trade calls. Plus, there haven’t been many developments over the past three-plus months. However, it’s still easy to see a path where the Jets justify moving their former major free agent acquisition, and it’s easy to understand why a rival team would take a chance on the veteran.

From the Jets standpoint, a Mosley trade would be mostly financial. Since he sat out the 2020 season, Mosley still has four years and $56MM left on his deal, including $22MM guaranteed (this remaining commitment is a big reason why Mosley won’t be released any time soon). The Jets aren’t necessarily hurting for money, but as the front office looks to introduce the Zach Wilson/Robert Saleh era, it’d make sense for them to move some future money with the hopes of loading up during future offseasons.

Further, the Jets have a bit of a logjam at the position after the team signed middle linebacker Jarrad Davis to a $5.5MM deal this offseason. The Jets defense is expected to play in a 4-3 scheme, meaning one of Davis or Mosley will either find themselves on the bench or playing (somewhat) out of position at outside linebacker. Sure, Davis probably isn’t the caliber of player who should be pushing a player like Mosley out of the lineup…but we also have no idea what to expect from a player who’s barely seen the field over the past two years.

If the Jets aren’t willing to take a risk on Mosley, why would another team? Well, for starters, the financial ramifications wouldn’t be as severe as you think. The 29-year-old’s 2021 cap hit is only $6MM, so while the future commitments may cause some teams to pause, you could easily see a contender talking themselves into Mosley’s upside (especially if the linebacker has a solid preseason). Plus, the trade costs surely wouldn’t be that high, meaning a team wouldn’t be compromising their future in a deal.

For what it’s worth, Mosley recently indicated that he has no worries about his ability to come back following a two-year absence:

“Yeah, I don’t have any doubts in myself,” he said during an appearance on The Official Jets Podcast (via the team website). “I mean, [Rob Gronkowski] took two years off [only one] and won a Super Bowl, so it is what it is. I’m here, so we’ll let the play do the talking.

“When you’re out for a while, you’re always in your head, thinking, ‘When I get back, how’s it going to feel? Am I going to be able to move like I used to?’ I feel great.”

Mosley has a chance to be a top comeback candidate, or he could emerge as an albatross contract. While the Jets will surely prefer to see the former option, they could ultimately reduce their risk, pivot more toward the future, and trade the linebacker over the next few months.

Jets Notes: Mosley, Draft Plans, Hoyer

The Jets reportedly received trade calls on linebacker C.J. Mosley this offseason, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says Mosley remains a trade candidate. As Randy Lange of the team’s official website writes, new head coach Robert Saleh recently offered high praise for Mosley, calling him a tremendous leader and player. Saleh also said Mosley is good enough to thrive in any system, including the 4-3 scheme that Saleh plans to implement (Mosley has not played in a 4-3 since he turned pro).

But New York did sign Jarrad Davis in free agency, and the team has been speculatively linked to high-end linebackers in the draft, like Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. If GM Joe Douglas does select an LB with a Day 1 or Day 2 choice, that could make a Mosley trade more likely (though obviously the return on such a trade would be minimal given Mosley’s contract and the fact that he has played all of two games in the last two years).

Now for more notes on the Jets:

  • Although Gang Green is going to select QB Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick, there is plenty of uncertainty as to what the club will do with the No. 23 overall selection. Cimini believes the team will ultimately go with a player to help Wilson, whether that’s an offensive lineman or a wide receiver. If that’s how Douglas is leaning, he might need to trade up to get the prospect he wants, and Connor Hughes of The Athletic tweets that Douglas has already done the “groundwork” on a potential move up the board.
  • Cornerback also profiles as a major need for the Jets, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them use the No. 23 pick or another early selection on a CB. According to Cimini, the club is intrigued by Syracuse corner Ifeatu Melifonwu, who looks like a second- or third-round talent. If the team doesn’t get a slot corner at some point in the draft, Hughes says the team could look to re-sign Brian Poole, whose 2020 season was cut short by injury but who has played well in his two seasons in the Meadowlands.
  • If the Jets don’t go with an offensive lineman with their second first-round choice, Hughes expects them to grab one with the No. 34 pick, and he also thinks they could pick up another blocker with one of their two third-round selections.
  • New York brought in veteran QB Brian Hoyer for a visit earlier this month, and he looks like an ideal backup/mentor for Wilson. Hughes reports that the team is likely to commence contract talks with the 35-year-old signal-caller after the draft.

Jets Receive Trade Calls On C.J. Mosley

The Jets just signed Jarrad Davis to a deal, and they now could be shipping out a different linebacker. New York has been receiving trade calls on C.J. Mosley, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

That’s a bit surprising, considering Mosley is on what’s widely considered a very bad contract. He’s got four years and $56MM left on his current deal, and Pelissero writes that $22MM in guarantees remain on that. The Jets signed him to a massive five-year, $85MM deal in March of 2019, but he was limited to only two games that year due to a groin injury. He then opted out of this past season due to COVID-19.

As such, he’s barely played since 2018. A first-round pick of the Ravens in 2014, he was a second-team All-Pro in four of his five seasons in Baltimore. But the Alabama product has seen his stock drop significantly since then. That being said, Pelissero does point out that his 2021 cap hit to a potential new team would only be $6MM.

The signing of Davis makes Mosley look expendable to the rest of the league, and as Connor Hughes of The Athletic tweets, new Jets coach Robert Saleh recently offered a lukewarm assessment of his outlook with the team.

If the Jets do move Mosley, they likely wouldn’t get much at all in return. That’s not to say Mosley still couldn’t be a good player, he just comes with an AAV of $17MM. He’ll turn 29 in June.

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Jets LB C.J. Mosley To Opt Out

C.J. Mosley will become the latest player to pass on the 2020 season. The Jets linebacker is opting out, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The former Ravens first-round pick’s Jets career barely started last year, with injury setbacks limiting him to 114 snaps in two games. Now, the Pro Bowl linebacker will wait until 2021 to make an impact with his second NFL team.

While the Jets are not expected to be a serious 2020 contender, this represents another major setback. They made Mosley the NFL’s highest-paid linebacker (by far) last year, in signing him to a five-year, $85MM deal. Bobby Wagner since surpassed that pact, but by 2021, Mosley will have played two of a possible 32 games with the Jets, who have already paid him $29MM.

With Jamal Adams now a teammate of Wagner’s in Seattle, after last weekend’s blockbuster trade, the Jets have lost their two best defenders in a seven-day span.

The second year of Mosley’s contract will toll to 2021, now making the deal run through the 2024 season. But this leaves a major hole among a Jets linebacking corps that also has Avery Williamson returning from a season-long injury absence. The Jets placed Williamson on their active/PUP list earlier this week.

Dont’a Hightower, Nate Solder and Damien Williams are among the biggest names to opt out. Mosley is the most decorated player set to skip the season. The 2014 first-rounder has made four Pro Bowls. The Ravens wanted to re-sign the inside linebacker last year, but the Alabama product understandably did not turn down a monster Jets offer that raised the off-ball ‘backer salary ceiling by nearly $3MM. Mosley has four 100-plus-tackle seasons on his resume.

A groin injury sidelined Mosley last season. He suffered the ailment in September, attempted to come back during a Monday night in October but aggravated the malady and missed the rest of the campaign. Mosley underwent surgery in December and received a clean bill of health in June. He will have more time to ensure he’s 100% now, with the Jets set to miss out on his age-28 season after mostly missing his age-27 slate.

Considering Mosley and Williamson’s salaries, the Jets are obviously limited at this position beyond their top two talents. While the Jets were a quality run-defending team without their top defensive investment, ranking second in DVOA against ground attacks, Pro Football Focus did not have a high opinion of any of their non-Mosley linebackers. The team signed former Mosley Baltimore teammate Patrick Onwuasor; his 2020 role stands to increase now. James Burgess, Neville Hewitt and 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman are also part of Gang Green’s linebacking corps. Available free agents include ex-Giant Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron and Wesley Woodyard.