The Jets have three defensive players who are due to receive a bonus on Tuesday, so there's a chance they could release one or more of them.
The three players concerned:
Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB
Pierre-Louis had a rough 2018 season having been suspended initially and then suffering several injury issues throughout the season. He only played 36 snaps on defense, mostly when Darron Lee was suspended, although he did make a few impact plays. A switch to a 4-3 base could perhaps open up more opportunities for playing time though.
It was on special teams where Pierre-Louis was a real difference maker. His special teams grade according to Pro Football Focus was the highest on the team and in the top ten around the league. He contributed three special teams tackles and two blocked punts in his nine appearances.
Pierre-Louis has a pending option bonus of $750K. The immediate cap saving if they were to release him is the highest of the three at $2 million.
Terrence Brooks, S
Brooks was another player who didn't feature much on defense but was a key contributor on special teams with six tackles. He played a total of 70 defensive snaps, 69 of which were in weeks six and seven after Doug Middleton and Marcus Maye were both injured.
Brooks played a slightly bigger role in 2017 and has generally been solid whenever called upon to fill in on defense.
Brooks' bonus is only $200K which doesn't seem significant enough to force the Jets into any kind of move. They could still save $1.6 million if they pay him the bonus and release him later.
Mike Pennel, DL
Unlike the other two, Pennel is also under contract for 2020, for a very reasonable $3.5 million. He also has the highest amount of dead money at stake. Releasing him now would mean that last season cost the Jets $4.5 million, whereas retaining him would mean they got two years out of him for just over $6 million. His pending bonus is also the biggest of the three at $1 million.
Pennel is probably the most important defensive contributor of this trio as well, with PFF giving him the second highest grade on the team in 2018, albeit mostly in a specialized run stopping role. Still, he played over 350 snaps, started seven games and could be in line for an even bigger role if Steve McLendon isn't re-signed.
With just under $2 million at stake in total, there's probably not much urgency to make any of these moves unless the Jets are sure the players concerned won't be part of their plans in 2019. Just over $5.5 million of extra cap space could be created if the Jets were to release all three but the Jets aren't exactly hurting for cap space right now and, if the players were released later, they'd still save over half of that amount anyway.
On balance, it therefore seems likely they'll keep all three for now. However, what do you think they should do? Please reply to the following poll, indicating which players you think they should keep:
Elaborate on your choice in the comments section and we'll let you know later if they release anyone.