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New York Jets young star reportedly likely to walk in NFL free agency

Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets built one of the best defenses in the NFL thanks to strong play from their young secondary and one of the most dominant pass rushes in the NFL. Unfortunately, this unit reportedly could suffer a massive loss in NFL free agency.

New York finished the regular season with the fourth-highest pressure rate (26.5 percent) in the league, combined with the second-highest hurry rate (10.1 percent)and the sixth-best sack rate (8.4 percent) to generate one of the best passing defenses in the league.

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While the likes of Quinnen Williams, Jon Franklin-Myers, Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed receive a majority of the credit for the unit’s success, a fan-favorite and beloved player among coaches on this Jets’ defense appears to be headed out the door.

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic tweeted on Sunday that while he doesn’t think it’s a lock the Jets lose edge rusher Bryce Huff this offseason, it does appear to be headed in that direction. As he notes, losing the young pass rusher would be a major disappointment considering Huff’s development with New York.

Bryce Huff stats – New York Jets homegrown talent

SacksQB HitsPressures
Statistics via Pro Football Reference and Pro Football Focus

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Huff, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2020. The 6-foot-3 edge rusher signed with New York on May 6, 2020, as an unheralded player who had to earn a spot in the NFL. He surprisingly made the 53-man roster as a rookie then made his NFL debut a few weeks later.

The Memphis alum became one of the best draft-and-develop success stories for New York. He earned 295 defensive snaps in his rookie season. While Huff only played in 23 total games from 2021-’22, he consistently showed improvement and earned a prominent role on the Jets’ defense this past year.

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Unfortunately for New York, other NFL teams took notice of Huff’s development. In a contract year, Huff recorded his first season with double-digit sacks and he led the team in pressures. Now, after emerging as one of the best players on the Jets’ defense, Huff appears poised to cash in with a life-changing contract from another team in NFL free agency.

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