Duane Burleson/Associated Press
Austin Howard, Right Tackle: The Jets don't have many free agents to keep from their 8-8 roster, but right tackle Austin Howard remains at the top of their re-signings list. The Jets forced Howard to prove his consistency on a one-year tender in 2013. Now, it's time to pay the piper.
Willie Colon, Right Guard: Austin Howard will get most of the attention because of his age and the position he plays, but Willie Colon was nearly as consistent holding down the fort at right guard last year. Not only was he a great pass protector—rated fourth-best pass-protecting guard, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required)—he proved that he can stay healthy over the course of a 16-game season.
Leger Douzable, Defensive End: The forgotten member of a defensive line that is littered with stars, Douzable produced better than most NFL starters in his rotational role at defensive end (13 stops in 242 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus). The Jets would love to have him back, but teams with bigger holes on their defensive line may be willing to pay him more like a starter.
Calvin Pace, Outside Linebacker: Pace surprised a lot of doubters when he posted 10 sacks after an abysmal 2012. His stats may be a bit inflated, but he can at least serve the Jets through one more season without them needing to use valuable assets on the position. The only question is whether or not the Jets are willing to pay him like a 10-sack player.
Jeff Cumberland, Tight End: After another 400-yard season, the promising former undrafted free agent is starting to plateau in his development. He may be back simply because the Jets are so thin at the position, but relying on him to develop into a true No. 1 tight end is foolish.
Ed Reed, Safety: Reed managed to finish the season with three interceptions, but he was a huge liability for the Jets in pass coverage. He was responsible for as many big plays as anyone in the secondary when he was with the team. Even worse, his presence may have stunted the development of Antonio Allen, as Allen was benched in favor of Reed.
Reed may be Rex Ryan's friend, but if the Jets want to fix their secondary, they need to stay away from him.
Vladimir Ducasse, Guard: The former second-round pick has officially earned the "bust" label after failing to hold on to the starting job at left guard once again. The Jets will almost certainly move on from their mistake.
Kellen Winslow, Tight End: While he was somewhat productive when he got on the field (388 yards in 12 games) his four-game suspension and his recent drug charge all but cement his fate as an ex-Jet.