2012 Contract Status: Signed through 2012
2011 Analysis: When I hear pundits complain about the Jets defensive line and their inability to pressure on the QB, that’s my barometer for their understanding of Rex’s defense. Defensive linemen in the Jets scheme aren’t primarily used to pressure, they are used to contain … specifically the run. Once the run is contained, it sets up those chops-licking pass rush situations on third downs that Rex loves so much. Mike DeVito might not pressure the QB — over his career he has just 1.5 sacks — but to overlook his contribution to this team would be a foolish mistake. He’s just as much a part of the defensive success as anyone. DeVito struggled to stay healthy in 2011, and that might be a concern for him going forward. Still, his role and his contributions can’t be understated.
2012 Outlook: As important as DeVito has been to this team, and as much as Rex likes his contributions, if the Jets are hard-pressed for cap space, especially with a crop of young DL behind DeVito, they might consider cutting his salary in 2012 to make room for some other players. Personally I think the Jets will find a way to keep him part of this team in 2012, unless they are afraid his injuries will keep more off the field than on it.
Random Thought: 3.3 years is the average career for an NFL player. DeVito has played five years and has done so as an undrafted player, no small feat. I do worry that he might be starting to break down, and the Jets will have to take that into consideration this year, and going forward.