Many of the New York Jets younger core figures to receive contract extensions. However, the 32-year-old defensive end Shaun Ellis will be on the outside looking in.

Ellis is in the final year of six-year contract. Ellis, one of the Jets’ longest tenured players, has been denied the request of a contract extension on multiple occasions. Ellis had 6.5 sacks last season for the Jets and was selected as a Pro-Bowl alternate.

The Jets have parted ways with some of their old guard so far this off-season. Guard Alan Faneca was cut after the team selected guard, Vladmir Duccasse in the 2010 NFL Draft. Running back, Thomas Jones was also released after having his most productive year as a pro (1,402 rushing yards, 14 TDs). However, the Jets have depth at both the guard and running back position. They don’t have depth at defensive end.

In 2009, Ellis registered the second most sacks on the Jets’ defense and the most among defensive ends. Rex Ryan’s schemes deploy multiple linebackers who collect the majority of the sacks. If the Jets trade Ellis, they have only Jason Taylor, Vernon Gholston, and Marques Douglas of note to play the position. Obviously the Jets could replenish their unit via trades, but trading Ellis wouldn’t make much sense.

It’s apparent that the Jets want to get younger and more athletic. However, trading Shaun Ellis wouldn’t be smart. He is owed only $3.3 million this season and fills a critical void for the team. The team has some great rushers (David Harris, Calvin Pace), but they can’t afford to let their best defensive end go this season.