Marcus Maye of the Jets reacts after breaking up a pass late...

Marcus Maye of the Jets reacts after breaking up a pass late in the fourth quarter against the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Dec. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. Credit: Getty Images/Joe Scarnici

The Jets missed the playoffs for the 10th straight year, are conducting another coaching search and have no idea yet if their franchise quarterback is even on the roster.

Welcome to the 2021 offseason. It sure sounds similar to many previous offseasons.

After the firing last week of head coach Adam Gase, general manager Joe Douglas already has said the new coach will have plenty of input on whether Sam Darnold will return to play quarterback for the Jets. But there is so much more to do after their 2-14 finish cost Gase his job.

The Jets have decisions to make regarding their 19 unrestricted free agents, and some players who have little or no guaranteed money owed to them in 2021. A look at those players:


Marcus Maye: He wants to return, and Douglas said re-signing him is "one of the priorities of our offseason." The Jets should get this done. Maye was voted Jets MVP by his teammates. Playing without Jamal Adams for the first time, Maye lined up everywhere and made plays in coverage and in the backfield. He showed leadership and is dependable. Maye hasn’t missed a game the past two seasons. He finished second on the Jets in tackles and interceptions and led in passes defensed.

Neville Hewitt: The inside linebacker was an unsung player. Hewitt went from a special-teams player to the Jets’ defensive play-caller, and he was their leading tackler this season. With C.J. Mosley expected back after opting out this year, he and Hewitt could make a solid inside linebacker duo for the Jets, who should look to lock up Hewitt at the right price.

Jordan Jenkins: The Jets’ longest tenured player didn’t have his usual impact at outside linebacker because of injuries. Jenkins appeared in just 12 games and was slowed in a few that he played. He plays hard and is a good locker room guy. Jenkins was close to leaving last year, but the Jets brought him back on a one-year deal. They might have that opportunity again.

Breshad Perriman: Robby Anderson’s replacement did not fill Anderson’s void. Perriman missed four games and caught only 30 passes. Perriman’s three TD receptions came when Joe Flacco was the quarterback. There should be better receivers available on the market for the Jets to pursue. If they strike out, Perriman isn’t a bad option.

Bradley McDougald: The veteran safety acquired in the Adams’ deal didn’t have the impact the Jets had hoped. He played in only seven games, but he’s a proven player and the Jets are weak in the secondary. So he might be worth bringing back.

Tarell Basham: His play went up as the season went on, and so did his snap counts. Bashem, 26, made plays at outside linebacker and on special teams. Still improving, he could provide depth at a low cost.

Joe Flacco: He wants to be a starter again, but he probably didn’t do enough to earn that position elsewhere. Flacco remaining the backup would be a good move for the Jets.


Jamison Crowder: The most consistent Jets offensive player the past two seasons is scheduled to be their highest-paid in 2021 ($11.5 million). Crowder has no guaranteed money so the Jets could move on, but this team is short on skill players. Crowder has been their best one lately and they should keep him.

Henry Anderson: The veteran defensive end’s production has decreased since he tied for the team lead in sacks with seven in 2018. Anderson has just 1.5 the past two seasons. He’s a solid team guy, but the Jets would save $8.2 million under the cap by cutting Anderson. That’s the likely outcome.

George Fant: He was a big piece in the Jets’ offensive line rebuild last year, so it would be somewhat surprising if they let him walk. The Jets want to build chemistry on the line, but if the Jets draft Oregon tackle Penei Sewell with the No. 2 pick, Fant could be on the move. He has no guaranteed money for 2021 and the Jets would open up $7.4 million by cutting him.

Greg Van Roten: Similar to Fant, Van Roten was brought in last year to bolster the line and be a veteran leader. He played every offensive snap at right guard until he injured his foot in Week 13. He’s only guaranteed $250,000, and cutting him would give the Jets an additional $3.4 million under the cap.

Alex Lewis: He was the only starting offensive lineman held over from 2019. A hard-nosed, tough player, Lewis’ future with the Jets is in doubt after he missed the last six games, non-injury related. He left the team to deal with off-the-field issues. The Jets brought him back the last week, but he didn’t play. Lewis has no guaranteed money for 2021. The Jets would clear more than $5.3 million by cutting him.

Chris Herndon: The talented tight end had a very disappointing season because of dropped passes, fumbles and disappearing acts. But Herndon played well at the end of the season, catching 11 passes and two touchdowns the last two games. The Jets shouldn’t cut ties with him.

Foley Fatukasi: The defensive tackle from Far Rockaway took advantage of the opportunity he got after the Jets traded Steve McLendon. Fatukasi was one of the top run stoppers at his position and his cap number is under $1 million. It’s a no-brainer to bring him back.

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