The 2020 Jets hope to kick off the new decade by snapping a nine-year playoff drought.
There was plenty of roster turnover this offseason, but the question remains: Does new necessarily mean better?
Tom Brady’s departure ostensibly gives hope to the rest of the AFC East, but will the Jets be the team to finally knock the Patriots off their perch as division rulers?
I’ll be revealing my Top 20 players on the roster every weekday for the next four weeks in the run-up to training camp.
This list is made up of the players who I believe will make the most impact for Adam Gase’s team this season. The ranking isn’t simply based on a player’s resume. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
So, we’re peering into our crystal ball and taking some leaps of faith. There’s some quality young talent on Gang Green’s roster. Some of those guys are poised to take their games to the next level.
Get ready for some surprises.
2019 ranking: 9
Position: Defensive line
Age at the start of the season: 29
2020 salary cap charge: $8.33 million
Contract status: Second year of a three-year, $25.2 million deal
2019 Season in Review:
The Jets signed Anderson to a three-year extension last offseason with the hope that he would be a focal point up front in Gregg Williams’ defense. However, his production dipped after his career 2018 campaign due, in part, to a new role and nagging shoulder injury that caused him to miss three games (and a large part of a fourth game).
Anderson’s 48 pressures in 2018 helped him to a career-high seven sacks in 2018. He managed just one sack last season. His pressure rate dropped from 11.3 percent to 6.6 percent (18 pressures on 273 pass-rushing snaps), according to jetsxfactor.com. However, only Jamal Adams and Jordan Jenkins had more than Anderson’s nine quarterback hits.
Anderson’s 8.0 percent run-stop percentage (11 run stops on 139 snaps) ranked 39th among 116 interior defensive linemen. He finished with 25 total tackles.
Anderson will be looking for a bounce-back season in what might wind up being his final year with Gang Green. His contract structure gives the team an easy escape hatch after 2020. The Jets could clear $8.2 million (with just a $1.3 million dead money charge) off the 2021 cap by moving on after this season. All teams will be looking for ways to open up 2021 cap space given the reality that next year’s cap will likely take a hit given lost revenues in 2020.
Regardless, Anderson has an opportunity to prove that he’s much closer to his 2018 self than what we saw last season. There’s no denying that Gang Green’s defensive line is their strongest unit. Anderson, who averaged 62 percent of the snaps from Weeks 12-16, can still be an important contributor.
Next on the Countdown: A veteran asked to lift a struggling unit.
No. 20: P Braden Mann
No. 19: DL Foley Fatukasi
No. 18: WR Denzel Mims
No. 17: DL Kyle Phillips
No. 16: DL Steve McLendon