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The one player Jets tried trading ‘all offseason’

Avery Williamson, Jets

The New York Jets were dealt a crucial blow with linebacker C.J. Mosley opting out of playing in the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fortunately, it seems their failure to pull off one particular move this offseason has now paid some dividends.

The Jets have since opted to cut guard Brian Winters in a move that will save them about $7.3 million in cap space. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, linebacker Avery Williamson was initially expected to be the cap casualty until Mosley decided to sit out:

Jets were looking to trade LB Avery Williamson all offseason. Otherwise, they were amenable to cutting him to save/clear $6.5M.

C.J. Mosley opt out might have prompted a pivot. NYJ saves roughly same amount by cutting Brian Winters.

It has been a rough year for Williamson after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 of the preseason that sidelined him for the entire 2019 campaign. As a result, New York was all but ready to part ways with him in an attempt to shore up some much-needed cap space for the other voids on the roster.

However, Mosley’s plan to sit out essentially forced the front office to seek out other options in order to maintain their current depth in the linebacker corps.

Despite the initial uncertainty, Williamson is now poised to take on an integral role on defense for the 2020 NFL season. If he can stay healthy, there is good reason to be optimistic after he finished his first season with the Jets by registering a career-high 120 combined tackles, three sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles during the 2018 campaign.