The star linebacker will conclude his second season in New York having made only two appearances.
As first reported by Rich Cimini of ESPN, Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley has decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season.
BREAKING: Jets LB CJ Mosley has decided to opt out for 2020 due to family health concerns, sources tell ESPN. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 1, 2020
Last March, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan signed Mosley to a five-year, $85 million deal with $51 million in guarantees that made him the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in NFL history. A groin injury suffered by Mosley in the 2019 season opener limited him to just two appearances in his first season of the deal.
Mosley was set to have a cap hit of $17.5 million in 2020, which will likely be pushed back into 2021.
The Jets have now lost their only two All-Pro defensive players in less than 10 days, considerably lowing the unit’s ceiling.
With Mosley sidelined, the Jets need somebody to step up at linebacker beside Avery Williamson. Blake Cashman, Neville Hewitt, James Burgess, and Patrick Onwuasor – Mosley’s former teammate in Baltimore – will compete for the job.
Keep an eye on Cashman or Onwuasor. Both players have interesting upside in the passing game, which is where the Jets really need it. Not only is that the more important phase, but it is where Mosley’s impact would have been the biggest, and at the other linebacker spot, Williamson’s strong suit is the run game.
Cashman’s rookie season was rocky, to say the least, but he flashed intriguing versatility as a cover man and pass-rusher that could make him an ideal foil to Williamson. Onwuasor had a fantastic 2018 season, making a ton of plays as a blitzer and in coverage, but he saw his role drastically slashed in 2019 after a brutal start to the year. If he can bounce back, he is more than talented enough to win the starting spot.
Gregg Williams‘ job over the next month has suddenly become substantially more stressful. Can he keep the defense afloat after losing its two best players?