The New York Jets may not be bringing back linebacker Harvey Langi or edge rusher Tarell Basham for the 2021 season.
A few Jets defenders might not be staying in Florham Park in 2021.
SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano noted Friday that the Jets aren’t likely to tender linebacker Harvey Langi, who’s set to be a restricted free agent. Edge rusher Tarell Basham additionally looks like he’s on his way out of New York/New Jersey.
It also doesn't sound like the Jets are interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent DE Tarell Basham, according to a source. Basham started nine games and had 3 1/2 sacks last year.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) March 12, 2021
Langi took part in 14 games with six starts last season, and it’s truly uncertain who could be manning the inside linebacker spots for the team in 2021. Both Neville Hewitt and Bryce Hager are set to be free agents with C.J. Mosley potentially returning after opting out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns.
The Jets could address the position with their significant amount of cap space (nearly $70 million as of Friday) or with one of their ten picks in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. New York likely wouldn’t draft an inside linebacker with its No. 23 overall pick in the first round though — that could be used to replace Basham and pending free agent edge rusher Jordan Jenkins.
Potential edge rusher targets at No. 23 include Oklahoma’s Ronnie Perkins and/or Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari.
Given the Jets tied for 20th last season with just 31 total sacks, some believe the edge rusher position could be the goal for Gang Green’s latter first-round pick (the Jets’ No. 2 selection may be used on BYU quarterback Zach Wilson). However, others believe they should go with an offensive weapon at No. 23 to help develop whoever starts at quarterback (whether it’s Wilson or Sam Darnold). The fact the Jets were last in total offense, scoring, and 31st in passing last year additionally supports the idea they should go offense in the back half of the opening round.
Joe Douglas and the defensive-minded Robert Saleh will possess a multitude of decisions in the near future — locating replacements for both Langi and Basham are looking like they may be two of them.