Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

10-Sack Free Agent Will Hit the Open Market (Report)

The New York Jets reportedly will not use the franchise tag on Bryce Huff, which means the pass rusher should reach free agency.
Bryce Huff Eagles

Between guys like Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, Chase Young, and Bryce Huff, there will be a lot of pass-rushing talent available in free agency. Consistently getting after the quarterback is one of the most important parts of any winning formula, and finding players capable of taking down the passer is instrumental to the success of a football team.

Some teams use the franchise tag to keep their best players around, as the Panthers are expected to use the tag to retain Brian Burns. The New York Jets, however, will not utilize the strategy on pass rusher Bryce Huff, as the four-year veteran is set to hit free agency.

Originally signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 season, the Memphis product spent the first three years of his career in a rotational role. However, Bryce Huff broke out with a dominant 10-sack season just before hitting unrestricted free agency. Now with the legal tampering period just weeks away, there is a strong possibility Huff will join a new team in 2024.

Bryce Huff Will Hit Free Agency, Jets Won’t Use Franchise Tag (Report)

Frankly, this report shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Bryce Huff is a good player, but free agency is full of players of his caliber. While taking down the quarterback 10 times in a season is an impressive feat, it’s worth noting that New York does not use him as a true three-down player. According to Pro Football Focus, Huff finished the 2023 season with an elite 86.8 grade as a pass rusher, but a well below-average 48.0 grade against the run.

In today’s NFL, getting after the quarterback is far more important than setting the edge. However, barring some significant improvement, a player like Bryce Huff is never going to justify elite money in free agency. If the Jets want him, they shouldn’t have to use the franchise tag to keep him around.

It’s also worth noting that Douglas said they will continue to try and negotiate a contract with Bryce Huff before free agency. While the legal tampering period doesn’t officially begin until March 11th, a whole bunch of illegal tampering goes on during the NFL Combine. Chances are, Huff’s agent will have a rough idea of what he can get on the open market over the next couple of days.

If Bryce Huff does leave in free agency, these five teams make the most sense as potential landing spots.

Best Team Fits

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a great pass rusher in Josh Allen. The rest of the depth chart, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Jacksonville finished the 2023 season with the fewest sacks in the league, as there truly is no reliable secondary rusher on this team. Since this team shares a division with a great young quarterback in C.J. Stroud, they could desperately use someone like Bryce Huff in free agency.

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams surprised everyone by making it to the playoffs in what should have been a rebuilding year. Now, with a young core and $43.6 million in cap space, this team can go on a deep postseason run with the right offseason moves. Aaron Donald and Kobie Turner are a formidable duo on the inside, but they could use an edge defender like Bryce Huff in free agency. With three players capable of getting to the quarterback on any given snap, the Rams defense could be one of the best in the league.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons won seven games with arguably the worst quarterback situation in football, so they should be better once they get Justin Fields or Kirk Cousins. However, if they want to be a true contender, then they should sign someone like Bryce Huff in free agency. The Falcons had the fourth-fewest sacks in the league, and that needs to improve under defensive-minded head coach Raheem Morris.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs had a great defense last year, but they could be losing some pieces. With L’Jarius Sneed on the trade block and Chris Jones heading towards free agency, the reigning Super Bowl champions could be losing their two best playmakers. Bryce Huff isn’t as good as either player, but he will help keep this unit respectable. Additionally, his poor play against the run won’t matter, as opposing offenses will always be throwing to try and keep up with the offense.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are restructuring contracts like crazy to get under the 2024 salary cap before the start of the league year. While they will eventually get there, they probably won’t be able to afford top-market talent. With this in mind, signing Bryce Huff in free agency makes a lot of sense. New Orleans needs another edge rusher, and Huff’s relatively one-dimensional style of play means he shouldn’t be out of the Saints price range.

Main Photo: David Butler – USA Today Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message