The futures of young stars Bryce Huff and Alijah Vera-Tucker with the New York Jets remains up in the air. But some clarity was provided by Jets general manager Joe Douglas at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.

Douglas said the Jets will not place the franchise tag on Huff, the free agent edge rusher. He also said the Jets had not yet decided whether to pick up the fifth year option on Vera-Tucker’s rookie contract.

Huff is the more immediate concern. The 25-year-old is coming off a monster season when he had 10 sacks and 67 QB pressures in a limited role with the Jets. Playing just 42 percent of the defensive snaps, Huff was still a game wrecker and is going to make a lot of money on the open market in the coming weeks.

Douglas said the Jets have spoken recently with Huff’s agent and are expecting “productive talks” to commence soon.

Bryce Huff set to become free agent after monster seasons with Jets

After the 2023 season ended, Huff said he wouldn’t give the Jets any hometown discount just because they signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and he played four seasons with them.

The Jets appear reluctant to give Huff the monster contract he wants because he’s unreliable against the run (48.0 grade in 2023 per Pro Football Focus). They also used first-round picks on edge rushers Jermaine Johnson (2022) and Will McDonald IV (2023).

But Huff’s one great skill, getting to the quarterback, will be seen as enough for most teams. That will make it difficult for the Jets to keep him, now that they’ve decided against using the franchise tag.

“We obviously want to keep Bryce,” Douglas said.

Alijah Vera-Tucker in ‘great place' rehabbing latest Jets injury

Vera-Tucker is considered a mainstay on the weak Jets offensive line. However, he missed significant portions of the previous two seasons with injuries, and is currently working his way back from a torn Achilles.

RECOMMENDED (Article Continues Below)
GM Joe Douglas in the middle - Rome Odunze, Jaden Hicks, Braelon Allen around him - New York Jets wallpaper in the background

Enzo Flojo ·

New York has until May 2 to decide whether to pick up his fifth year option. However, it’s widely expected that they will do so.

Vera-Tucker was New York’s second first-round pick after quarterback Zach Wilson in the 2021 draft. He has played both guard and tackle for the Jets and his versatility is a major plus on a line that’s been ravaged by injuries year-in and year-out.

“We don’t have any decision on where he’s going to line up, but his ability to play four different spots and four different spots well gives us a lot of flexibility moving forward,” said Douglas, who added, “AVT is in a great place. Hie rehab is going outstanding.”

Revamping the offensive line is a big part of the Jets offseason. But whether Vera-Tucker plays guard or tackle, he and second-year center Joe Tippmann will be cornerstones to build around.

Speaking of Wilson, Douglas said the Jets gave permission to the quarterback's agent to pursue a trade after three dismal seasons with New York.