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One key stat makes it clear NY Jets should retain EDGE Bryce Huff

Bryce Huff, NY Jets, Contract, Free Agent
Bryce Huff, New York Jets, Getty Images

Bryce Huff is set to be a restricted free agent

With the NFL offseason underway, here come all the articles and speculation about free agency.

In that spirit, NFL’s Next Gen Stats took a look at 14 under-the-radar players who should be retained by their respective teams before hitting free agency. One of those players plays for the New York Jets: edge rusher Bryce Huff.

Huff was masterful as a pass-rusher in 2022. Despite being inactive for the first three games, he finished first in pass-rush win rate, second in true pass set pressure rate, and third in QB hit rate. He set a Next Gen Stats record with his 21.3% pressure rate (min 150 pass rushes). Huff also became the fastest player in pass-rush get-off over the last five seasons at 0.67 seconds.

A lack of double-teams and playing exclusively in pass-rushing situations could have been factors in some of these eye-popping stats, but it’s hard to argue with the results, regardless.

The Jets gave Huff one job, and he did it at an elite level. With 81.2% of his snaps coming on third and fourth down, he showcased himself as a dangerous pass-rusher in the NFL.

Huff will be a restricted free agent this offseason. That means that the Jets will have the first crack at retaining him before he hits the open market. While it should be unlikely that he actually becomes a free agent, anything is possible.

There is widespread speculation that the Jets will place a second-round tender on Huff, which would offer him a $4.3 million salary and guarantee the Jets a second-round pick in return if another team signed him to a deal. Ceding a second-round pick for a heretofore rotational player is a steep price to pay. In all likelihood, if this is the tender offered, Huff will be a Jet in 2023.

Huff has shown what he can do and likely has earned the opportunity for a bigger role going forward. Going from an undrafted free agent to an integral part of the Jets’ pass rush is nothing to scoff at. Hopefully, the team recognizes the importance of that, as well, and brings Huff back to the Green and White.

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