The impact of former Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff signing with Philadelphia

In not all that surprising news, now former Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff is signing a three year deal to join the Philadelphia Eagles.

Prior to the NFL’s legal tampering period opening, Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported that the Eagles were going to pursue Huff heavily. According to Adam Schefter, the three year deal is worth $51.1 million.

Huff put together a career year in 2023, finishing second on the team in pressures, behind only Quinnen Williams, with 67. Huff’s 10 recorded sacks, according to PFF, were a career high and the most on the team. Among all edge rushers, Huff’s pass-rush win rate of 22.9 percent was the third-best in football, behind Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett.

I’m sure in a perfect world the Jets would have loved to have re-signed Huff. However, the Jets – at least as of now – are in an okay but not great salary cap situation.

While the Jets do have $20.7 million in available cap space, relatively speaking, that ranks 18th across the NFL, and doesn’t factor in additional expenses, such as signing the draft class, which Over the Cap projects will take up $10.96 million in cap space. They also have to put together a practice squad and need cap space for in-season spending, whether that be making additions or for game day elevations.

On top of that, there are much bigger needs that the Jets have to address this offseason. This includes finding three capable starters along the offensive line, not to mention bolstering the overall depth wouldn’t be a bad idea either. The Jets also need to find a secondary receiving option to partner with Garrett Wilson and need to add to their interior defensive line and safety rooms.

By comparison to those position groups, the edge rusher room is in solid shape. Returning for the 2024 season will be Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin-Myers, who combined for 106 quarterback pressures, along with 2023 first round pick Will McDonald.

As I wrote in a recent article, when it comes to helping absorb Huff’s departure at edge rusher, it’s going to be important that McDonald make a big jump in his second NFL season. As a rookie, McDonald played only 16 percent of the defensive snaps, although he was quite efficient in that limited sample size, ranking 29th in the NFL in pass rush win rate.

“He’s got all the freakish ability,” Robert Saleh said of McDonald. “He can win with speed and can counter inside, but until you get those tackles playing a little bit more heavy-footed because they’re afraid of your power and all that stuff won’t matter, so he’s learning that aspect of it, but I’m excited.”

Along with the Jets current trio of edge rushers, they also have Quinnen Williams in the middle as well. As a defense, the Jets ranked fourth in quarterback pressure rate last season.

When losing a player of Huff’s caliber, it’s never easy to fill that void. With Robert Saleh’s defense rarely blitzing, it’s vital that the defensive front is able to win their matchups in order to create pressure and provide the secondary with some assistance.

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire