The New York Jets are not hurting for money, entering the 2021 NFL offseason with more projected salary cap space -- more than $73 million -- than all but one team. But they freed up a little more on Tuesday, announcing they've released former starting defensive lineman Henry Anderson just two years after signing the ex-Colts standout to a $25 million deal. The move saves New York $8.2 million in 2021 cap space, per Over The Cap, boosting the Jets' total to more than $80 million ahead of free agency.
Anderson's release isn't exactly a surprise considering the veteran's lofty cap hit. The 29-year-old was due to count for more than $9.5 million against the Jets' cap this season. Still, it marks a notable departure for a team that just hired a defensive head coach in Robert Saleh, who specialized in defensive-line development during his rise as the 49ers defensive coordinator. A third-round pick of the Colts in 2015, Anderson originally landed with the Jets via trade in 2018, then inked his three-year extension a year later.
Both a defensive tackle and end with Indianapolis to start his career, Anderson had trouble staying on the field in his first three seasons, missing 17 games from 2015-2017. Acquired by the Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2018, he enjoyed a breakout season in his New York debut, posting a career-high seven sacks, seven tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits. He was far less productive over his final two seasons, totaling just 1.5 sacks and 12 QB hits in 29 games from 2019-2020.