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    D.J. Reed At Peace Entering Contract Year With Jets: ‘I Love Playing Here’

    D.J. Reed appears comfortable and ready to begin his potential final season with the New York Jets, as the two sides haven't discussed a new contract.

    When D.J. Reed joined the New York Jets in free agency during the 2022 offseason, Gang Green hoped he would help change the organization’s weak secondary.

    With the help of All-Pro Sauce Gardner, Reed has helped the Jets finish with a top-three ranking in passing statistics over the last two seasons. As Reed prepares to hit the final year of his contract, one of New York’s elite defensive back-end stars could say goodbye after this season.

    Jets’ D.J. Reed Addresses Contract Concerns

    Reed signed a three-year contract with the New York Jets worth close to $33 million total. In the two years he’s been in Florham Park, the Kansas St. product has picked off two passes and recorded over 150 tackles.

    Now, as he enters the final year of his contract, Reed and the Jets have to decide if they want this partnership to continue past the 2024 season.

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    To the 5’9″ corner, those conversations haven’t begun yet, and that’s perfectly OK with him.

    “I signed a three-year deal, so I expect to play three years here and go into free agency,” Reed said Wednesday at Jets’ mandatory minicamp. “I do love New York. I love playing here. I love the coaches, love the organization. Woody [Johnson] took care of me last time. I love my teammates.”

    One of the reasons why Reed’s contract situation is so interesting is due to New York’s pending cap concerns next season. Some of the Jets’ top young talent like Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Jermaine Johnson, Gardner, and Carter II are all in line for contract extensions after this season.

    At the cornerback position, with all three players looking for new deals, the Jets might have to choose who the odd man out is. With Carter and Gardner both being homegrown talents, the odds aren’t great for Reed next offseason. This has been hammered home even more following the surprising advancement of fifth-round rookie Qwan’tez Stiggers.

    Unlike most players in the NFL, though, that’s ok with Reed. While he could hold out of practices, the 27-year-old corner has been involved at every point of the Jets’ offseason.

    That peace of mind has proven invaluable for New York and Reed himself.

    “I feel like now for me, honestly, it’s more of a peace of mind,” Reed stated. “Financially, I’m doing well. It’s less stress going into free agency this time for me. I love football. We want to get paid and stuff, but for me, financially I’m doing good, so it’s not really stressful for me.”

    KEEP READING: 5 Breakout Candidates on the 2024 New York Jets

    With his attendance perfect and his cap hit gone after this season, the Jets know that Reed could be in his final season at Florham Park this year. At the very least, they hope to have him be a part of the team that ends the franchise’s 13-year playoff drought.

    3 Potential Free-Agent Options for Reed

    The 2025 free agency period may be a full year away, but it’s important to keep an eye on teams who could need a starting cornerback like Reed in the first place.

    Cornerback contracts in the open market are always tricky, especially for those players that are under six feet tall, but Reed’s strong production over the last few years could give him plenty of suitors next offseason.

    Let’s go over three projected ones here:

    New York Giants

    The Giants have used a lot of draft capital to try and rebuild their middling secondary to mediocre results. Deonte Banks struggled last year in his rookie season, and the organization also drafted Andru Phillips and Cor’Dale Flott in recent years as well. New York could use a veteran presence and locker-room leader on the defensive end, and Reed would be an ideal candidate in that regard.

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    It doesn’t really matter who the Jaguars targeted last offseason, their defense was a big reason why they failed to reach the postseason in 2023. While their level of success could change in 2024, Jacksonville’s defense remains a major question mark this season. Reed could enter the team’s facility now and be their best player.

    Miami Dolphins

    Kendall Fuller has an out in his contract following the 2024 season, and the Dolphins would probably love to get a piece of New York’s elite defense. Reed may be small, but he would fit the zone coverage Miami loves to run well while serving as a strong complement to the likes of Jalen Ramsey on the other side of the field.

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