These Jets, including Bryce Petty, prepare for potential farewell game

Bryce Petty did not show enough progress in three seasons with the Jets to justify a fourth year. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The roster changes won't be as sweeping as last offseason, when the wrecking ball swung freely, but don't think for a second the New York Jets will be in stand-pat mode or anything close to it.

Several starters, including some big names, won't be back in 2018. Their farewell game will be Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where the Jets close the season against the New England Patriots.

Some players are on the bubble. Others are definite goners. They include:


DE Muhammad Wilkerson -- Technically, his last game was three weeks ago, but he'll be there at Gillette Stadium, bundled up on the sideline as an inactive player. The Jets haven't made that official, but it would be a stunner if Wilkerson -- deep in Todd Bowles' dog house -- plays in a meaningless game. They're expected to release him in the offseason and, with his 2018 salary guaranteed for injury, it would be senseless to take the financial risk.

Wilkerson, whose attitude has irked people in the organization, was in no mood on Thursday to discuss his status.

"Ask coach," he said, walking away from a reporter.

The Jets will save $11 million on the '18 cap by cutting Wilkerson, but they'll get stuck with a $9 million "dead" charge. Once they pay him his final game check ($868,000), the Jets will be off the hook in terms of actual cash layout.

RB Matt Forte -- Unlike the healthy, but disgruntled Wilkerson, Forte is hurting, but still eager to play. Battling a chronic knee condition, he admitted on Thursday that he's been "basically playing on one leg" since the bye in Week 11. He decided to grind it out because the team still was in playoff contention. Once they were eliminated, he kept playing because that's what competitors do. You can't help but admire his toughness.

Unfortunately, Forte's time with the Jets is just about up. He's a 32-year-old running back with a bad knee and a $4 million cap charge in 2018, and that doesn't add up to a roster spot. The Jets will realize a $3 million cap savings by releasing him. Forte said he intends to play next season, which would be his 11th. He acknowledged his production hasn't been "up to standard."

QB Bryce Petty -- The coaches like Petty because he's a good guy who works hard to correct his flaws, but he hasn't made enough progress in three years to justify a fourth. His Total QBR is only 28.7, which would rank him 30th among qualifying quarterbacks, ahead of only Trevor Siemian and DeShone Kizer. In the offseason, the Jets probably will add two quarterbacks to go along with Christian Hackenberg, making Petty the odd-man out.


MLB Demario Davis -- The Jets brought back Davis by stealing him from the Cleveland Browns in the Calvin Pryor trade. Initially considered a stop-gap measure in the aftermath of the David Harris release, Davis has improved his overall game and should draw interest on the free-agent market. The Jets want him back, but money talks. He took a pay cut after the trade and will be looking to make it up, and then some.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins -- He's a big, athletic tight end with 50 catches -- and he's only 25 years old. It doesn't take a genius to figure out he'll have plenty of suitors. The Jets like Seferian-Jenkins and his upside, but you wonder if they'll be willing to match the market price. He's banged up this week (ribs, foot) and could miss the finale.

CB Morris Claiborne -- They took a one-year flyer on the oft-injured Claiborne, who has managed to play 14 of 15 games. From the Jets' perspective, he was worth the investment ($5 million). At the same time, Claiborne increased his value and could land a long-term deal in free agency. The Jets could be reluctant to pour big money into him.

C Wesley Johnson -- After releasing longtime center Nick Mangold, the Jets gave his understudy a one-year audition. They learned Johnson isn't the long-term answer, and they'll move on.

DE Kony Ealy -- He flashed early in the season, especially with his ability to defend passes at the line, but was telling that he played only 40 snaps (29 percent) in the last two games even though Wilkerson was inactive. The Jets see Ealy as only a situational rusher, yet he has only one sack in that role. Unless he agrees to a one-year deal, his return seems unlikely.

PK Chandler Catanzaro -- He caught Brant Boyer's eye during the pregame warmups last season before the Jets played the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets' special teams coordinator lobbied for him when Catanzaro was released after a disappointing season, and it has worked out for both sides. "We've been very pleased with him," Bowles said.

G Dakota Dozier -- A slow-developing draft pick from 2014, Dozier has impressed in limited action. He and nose tackle Steve McLendon are the most improved players on the team, according to Bowles -- and now they might have to say goodbye to Dozier. If they believe he has improved that much, it would be wise to keep him around.