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Looking ahead to Jets' free agents: Only a couple worth keeping

It's not all gloom and doom for the New York Jets, who don't have to worry about getting crushed by a large number of free-agent defections.

They will have only 11 unrestricted free agents, most of whom are expendable. A quick look:

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick -- Technically, he's under contract for 2017, but the deal automatically voids five days after the Super Bowl. In recent interviews, Fitzpatrick has acknowledged he doesn't expect to be back next season. He finished with a league-low 69.6 passer rating among qualified players. The Jets will have something to remember him by -- $5 million in "dead" money. Fitzpatrick, 34, will land a backup job somewhere.

QB Geno Smith -- He wants to be a starter again, but no team will hand him a job. Ironically, his best opportunity might be with the Jets, but they're not saying if they want him back. It seems unlikely. After everything that happened in New York, Smith needs a fresh start. He's still recovering from knee surgery, which complicates things. Someone will offer him a one-year, prove-it deal. He needs a stable, pressure-free environment where he can reboot.

RG Brian Winters -- He will be the Jets' No. 1 priority. Winters, still only 25, made steady improvement over four years and will be a coveted free agent. The Jets will be rebuilding their line, and they should include Winters in the plan.

LT Ben Ijalana -- He wound up starting 13 games, including seven at left tackle. Ijalana has value because he can play left and right tackle and he's still only 27. He's an underrated player who's worth keeping around.

TE Kellen Davis -- Presumably, the new offensive coordinator will utilize the tight ends in the passing game, which hurts Davis' value. He's a blocker, not a receiver, as he had only three catches the last two seasons. He spent the second half of the season on injured reserve (elbow).

LB Josh Martin -- He was the leading tackler on special teams, earning unsolicited praise from coach Bill Belichick. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Patriots come calling.

LB Bruce Carter -- He played almost exclusively on special teams. He's a depth player at this point in his career.

OLB Mike Catapano -- Catapano, who had arthroscopic knee surgery last week, is a high-motor player who can fill a few roles off the bench.

S Antonio Allen -- He finished the season on injured reserve after being waived/injured late in the season with a concussion. Allen, who got only a handful of snaps at safety, is an athletic special-teams player. He'll be remembered for an offsides penalty while covering a kickoff in Miami, resulting in a re-kick and a touchdown return that cost them the game.

OLB Corey Lemonier -- One game, one sack. He was acquired on waivers for the final game and was deployed as a pass-rushing specialist.

LS Tanner Purdum -- The most unheralded player on the team has been a consistent long-snapper since 2010. Good long-snappers are hard to find, so it's worth keeping Purdum, 32, around.