One of the nicest changes of Pace (pun intended) with Ryan Poles has been his transparency with the media. Any time the media used to ask Ryan Pace a question, he handled each answer like a foreign enemy had asked for the nuclear launch codes.
Poles has a much different approach. So when Poles met with the media recently, he openly discussed that the team could use another pass rusher on the edge and even mentioned that something could happen “sooner rather than later.”
So when some news came out of the Big Apple recently about New York Jets’ defensive end Carl Lawson, the domino effect it had on a potential trade target was significant.
Jets DE Carl Lawson has agreed to a reworked deal, per source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 18, 2023
Lawson was due a non-guaranteed $15M, but is now due a base value of $9M, $8M of that is guaranteed. He has $3M more available in incentives.
The move creates $12.7M in 2023 cap space for the Jets.
After this restructure, the Jets have four edge players that they’ve committed to. There is Lawson and John Franklin-Myers. But they also have spent first round picks both in 2022 and 2023 on ends Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald.
That pushes Bryce Huff down to DE5 on the Jets depth chart and certainly doesn’t leave him much of an opportunity to play.
Some of you may be at this point of the article saying, “Who is Bryce Huff?” He’s certainly not a well-known name, but he’s definitely a player that has made the most of his limited opportunities.
Huff can rush the passer. According to PFF, he had 36 pressures (and 3.5 sacks) on 173 pass rushing attempts. That puts Huff’s pressure rate above 20%. That would have made Huff the best pass rusher on the Chicago Bears unit last year, one that, according to Pro Football Reference, finished 31st in the league in that category.
Huff certainly wouldn’t be a big splash, but he would be a target with high upside potential. Ryan Poles couldn’t fix everything in one offseason and edge is definitely something he’s only casually picked at. Huff could be an affordable option to greatly improve the pass rush with the potential of finding a quality pass rusher to be part of the Bears’ defense moving forward.