It's all about 2018 and beyond, and any player who doesn't fit that timeline is vulnerable as cut-down day approaches. The Jets must trim 37 players by 4 p.m. ET Saturday, getting down to 53.
They close the preseason Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Coach Todd Bowles won't say if quarterback Josh McCown and the other starters will play. Either way, the Jets have some tough decisions.
Veterans up for discussion:
RB Matt Forte: He's a team leader and still has some gas left in the tank, but he's 31 and doesn't factor into the future plans. It will be difficult to trade him because of his age and salary ($4 million guaranteed), but the Jets have been shopping him in recent days, the NFL Network reported. They'd have to eat the money if they cut him, a decision that could be based on how they feel about rookie Elijah McGuire. Are they willing to ride with Bilal Powell and McGuire?
CB Marcus Williams: He's been a useful backup and spot starter over the past three seasons, but he makes a lot of money ($2.75 million) for a fifth cornerback. The Jets might prefer a rookie, either Derrick Jones or Xavier Coleman, in that spot.
WR Jalin Marshall: He faces a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but the Jets could decide to cut bait before the ban goes into effect. Marshall is no longer involved in the punt- and kickoff-returning mix, which diminishes his value.
LB Lorenzo Mauldin: His first two seasons were disappointing, and now he's dealing with a back injury that could keep him out for an extended period. It would be a tough cut because he was a third-round pick in 2015 and his story, how he overcame a tough childhood, is so inspirational.
NT Mike Pennel: He's a big, powerful space-eater who can definitely play in the league, but the Jets have numbers on the defensive line. Big Mike is battling for that final spot. He, too, has a heart-warming backstory.
LS Tanner Purdum: You might not know this, but Purdum, 31, is the longest-tenured Jet. He's the only holdover from their most recent playoff team in 2010, but his roster spot is in jeopardy because the Jets traded for a long-snapper, Thomas Hennessy.
PK Chandler Catanzaro: His months-long battle against Ross Martin is down to the wire. Catanzaro, inconsistent on the practice field, hasn't had many chances in games. He's 1-for-2 on field goals (a miss from 55) and 2-for-2 on extra points. Every kick is huge.