The New York Jets are off, but we're not. Our weekly mailbag question looks into the future.
@RichCimini: Normally this is a question I wouldn't entertain until late December, or later, but since the Jets are out of contention ... let's do it. I'll break it up into three categories:
LIKELY TO RETURN
RB Matt Forte: He'll be 31, but he's having a good year and his $4 million base salary is guaranteed.
WR Eric Decker: He's recovering from two surgeries and will be 30, but he still can play and is good in the locker room.
WR Quincy Enunwa: On the rise.
LG James Carpenter: His cap number jumps to $6.8 million, but he might be their best lineman.
DT Leonard Williams: He's probably the best player on the team.
DE Muhammad Wilkerson: He'll get a mulligan. Besides, they're stuck with him because of his contract.
LB David Harris: He'll be 33, but I think they can squeeze another year out of him. His cap number is a manageable $6.5 million.
LB Darron Lee: Just getting started.
LB Jordan Jenkins: See Lee.
S Calvin Pryor: Still waiting ... waiting ... waiting for the breakout.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: There will be no happily ever after in New York. He'll be a free agent.
CB Darrelle Revis: He got old fast, and his salary ($15 million) is prohibitive. They could ask him to take a pay cut, but this goes beyond money. The organization has concerns about whether he still can be an effective press-man corner.
LT Ryan Clady: His cap charge is $10 million. Not a chance.
TE Kellen Davis: Zero catches. Enough said. He'll be a free agent.
DE Sheldon Richardson: He'll go back on the trading block in the offseason. This time, they'll get a deal done.
PK Nick Folk: Not at $3.6 million.
ON THE BUBBLE
C Nick Mangold: The future Ring-of-Honor member will be 33 and has a huge cap number ($9.1 million). His return could be contingent on reworking his deal.
WR Brandon Marshall: Tough call. He's better than what his numbers indicate, but he lands in this category because of his age (33) and salary ($7.5 million)
RG Brian Winters: He's one of the most improve players on the team and he'll be their most marketable free agent.
CB Buster Skrine: He's still solid in the slot, still in his prime, but the cap charge ($8.5 million) is steep. He'll stay if Revis goes.
S Marcus Gilchrist: He's not a $6.6 million player.