According to Mehta, Jets believe that there are a number of free-agent linebackers who would be improvements from Lee.
Sources have told Mehta that the Jets have made it clear through back channels that they would like to sign Vikings LB Anthony Barr, who could have a role similar as Jamie Collins did with the Browns under Gregg Williams.
Lee, 24, is a former first-round pick of the Jets back in 2016. He’s currently in the final year of his four-year, $10.221 million and set to make a base salary of $1.83 million in 2019.
The Jets will have to decide whether to pick up Lee’s fifth-year option this offseason, but it sounds like this is unlikely.
In 2018, Lee appeared 12 games for the Jets and recorded 74 tackles, no sacks, three interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown and five pass defenses.
Barr, 26, was taken with the No. 9 overall pick by the Vikings back in 2014. He played out the final year of his four-year $12,743,500 rookie contract and made a base salary of $2,157,750 for the 2017 season.
The Vikings elected to pick up his Barr’s fifth-year option, which paid him around $12.306 million for the 2018 season. He’s now in position to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
In 2018, Barr appeared in 13 games for the Vikings and recorded 55 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and two pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 26 linebacker out of 93 qualifying players.