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Jets commit to rebuild as they purge almost every player over the age of 30

The Jets have released long time linebacker David Harris and informed wide receiver Eric Decker he will not return in a string of age-related cuts.

The New York Jets continue to get rid of all of their old players as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the team will separate with longtime LB David Harris. Harris was entering the final year of his contract.

The Jets have made a lot of moves to get rid of their older starters from 2016 and Harris is no exception. The Jets linebacker has been the receiving end of some serious praise by head coach Bill Belichick in the past.

“I have a lot of respect for David Harris,” Belichick expressed in December of 2014. “That guy, first of all, he never comes of the field- not just this year but any year. The guy is like a 98, 99 percent playtime player for them every year, year after year. It’s obviously a defense that has a lot of communication and adjustments, and he’s certainly at the center of that. Both as the signal caller and then at the line of scrimmage, you can see him adjusting the front or making some type of communication calls to his teammates. He’s a very instinctive player, which unfortunately we’ve seen that first-hand. He does a good job for them. He’s been very consistent, durable, dependable, productive over a long period of time.”

Harris had lost a step of speed and was the third-oldest player on the Jets in 2016, behind QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and C Nick Mangold. The other players currently over the age of 30 on the 2016 final roster were (in order of age) WR Brandon Marshall, LS Tanner Purdum, K Nick Folk, CB Darrelle Revis, RT Breno Giacomini, TE Kellen Davis, RB Matt Forte, DT Steve McClendon, LB Erin Henderson, LT Ryan Clady, and WR Eric Decker.

Hours after reporting the release of Harris, Schefter also reported that the Jets informed Decker that he will not be with the team beyond this week.

Of those 14 players over the age of 30, just Purdum, Forte, and McClendon remain on the team. Despite adding QB Josh McCown as a veteran bridge to help the younger quarterbacks, It’s clear that the Jets are trying to get rid of their older players as they commit to a rebuild.

The New England Patriots have a much older roster, with 10 players set to start the regular season over the age of 30:

QB Tom Brady (40), K Stephen Gostkowski (33), EDGE Rob Ninkovich (33), DT Alan Branch (32), ST Matthew Slater (32), WR Danny Amendola (31), WR Andrew Hawkins (31), WR Julian Edelman (31), FS Devin McCourty (30), SS Patrick Chung (30).

All but two (Amendola, Hawkins) expect to be serious contributors.

An immediate takeaway is that the Patriots have to take advantage of the advanced age of their roster and win as much as they can before the Jets complete their rebuild- but in reality, the youth on the Patriots roster is superior to the youth on the Jets roster and the Patriots should stay ahead of New York for the foreseeable future.