New York Jets – Picturing A Pragmatic Off-Season Approach

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Since there are no games this weekend (sorry Pro-Bowl), we are going to pass on our regular 12 Pack and do a quick overview on the Jets off-season approach instead. The 12 Pack will be back next Sunday with Super Bowl predictions and Jets observations.

For the first time since the off-season heading into the 2008 season, the New York Jets are flush with cap space (likely in the excess of 40+ million) and draft picks (8-12). This is both an exciting and encouraging thing for the further development of a young, ascending team who posted a relatively surprising 8-8 record in 2013. However, this type of financial and roster flexibility doesn’t need to lead into foolish overspending and shouldn’t have fans focused on “name” players who aren’t likely or smart targets.

Let’s start at the top. Jimmy Graham isn’t leaving New Orleans. Don’t waste your time or energy coming up with an elaborate way for the Jets to pursue him because it isn’t happening. Whether it is being franchised as a tight end, signing a new contract or being franchised as a receiver, the Saints aren’t letting him walk.

When shifting to the draft, Sammy Watkins more than likely isn’t happening either. Unless something dramatically changes, he will be a top 5 pick and the Jets would foolish to trade up that far for a wide receiver. Johnny Manziel? He is very unlikely to be on the board at #18 and again, don’t look for the Jets to trade up high enough to land him. Hakeem Nicks? Big name…particularly in this market but the Jets can do better for the themselves with other free agent receiver options.

There is too much of a focus among Jets fans on who is a “number one,” “number two” and “number three” receiver. This is an archaic way to think about the position. It is similar to people who think the Jets cannot pursue a receiver under 6 foot because they have Jeremy Kerley. Receivers in the Jets offense and in most other NFL offenses are moved all over the formation and play more than one role. The Jets are devoid of talent at the pass catching positions. Collect good players and go from there.

Why do we keep talking about a player like Golden Tate here in comparison to Hakeem Nicks? Tate is younger and his numbers are ascending over each of the past three seasons. Nicks’ numbers are in steady decline the past three seasons, nevermind his lingering injury and attitude issues. Tate is 5’10 but is built like a running back and runs like one after the catch. In Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, you need players who can do just that…take a quick screen or slant, make somebody miss and pick up extra, tough yards. You always want to spend on players who are improving in recent years, not players who are declining.

This isn’t limited to Tate. Eric Decker has an intriguing skill-set but his numbers from the past few years are likely going to lead to him being overpaid. Can you spend 3-5 million per year less on Tate or James Jones and get similar production? Most likely.

A similar line of thinking can be applied to the NFL Draft. The Jets have worked hard to finally accumulate a substantial amount of picks, after being short on them over the past few years. Part of the reason they let so many free agents walk was to accumulate compensatory picks and part of the reason they traded Darrelle Revis was to receive that additional 3rd rounder this year. They held on to all their original picks as well…for a reason. Don’t be fooled by the 8-8 record, this team has a ton of holes and is in desperate need of improved depth across the board. You improve for the long term by using your accumulated draft picks.

Why are you going to sacrifice multiple picks to draft Sammy Watkins when you may be able to grab an Allen Robinson or Jordan Matthews and potentially get similar production? Is Johnny Manziel that “sure” of a thing, that you are going to move up for him, go through the entire process with a rookie quarterback again, instead of putting weapons around the second year quarterback you just invested a year in?

Defensively, Brian Orakpo is a popular name at outside linebacker but could the Jets spend half the money on Jason Worilds and get the same production, allowing them to better address other areas of need? Worilds is another player who has ascended each of the past three years, is entering his prime and doesn’t have a troubling injury history.

Realistically, the Jets need upgrades to the following positions: WR, TE, QB, OG, OLB, CB, S…that is plenty for one off-season and you can only have so many “big money” spends. It makes sense to spread the money and draft picks across these positions in a pragmatic, sensible way. Don’t get caught up in “names,” get caught up in “fits.” This is part of the reason, Jets fans should let go of the idea of Mark Sanchez coming back. Can you make a logical case that he is the right type of veteran to keep behind Geno? Sure. Our TJ Rosenthal has a piece on the way in the coming days doing just that, but from another perspective…the relationship is over on both ends. Cut the cord and move on.

The NY Post article you saw last week about “Sanchez walking in the door as a starter” is a story the stinks of being placed by the Jets or a front office friendly to them. Why? The Jets are trying to create some type of trade value for Sanchez before they inevitably release him. We saw the exact same thing last season when the Jets were leaking stories about Tebow “impressing them around the facility” and being a viable competitor for the starting job. It was an attempt to find some type of trade value before an inevitable cut. This is the same situation. People seem to forget, Sanchez was average in the pre-season, missed the entire regular season and the year before was arguably the worst quarterback in football. There are better options out there, who will come at an equal or less price and provide less of an overall distraction.

Hopefully as the Jets enter this off-season, they target players ascending into their primes and focus on prioritizing “fits” over “names.”

  • pat

    nice article. Wish you touched more on the safety market (Byrd, Ward and Buccanon, Pryor in draft) but all in all a good read.

  • Harold

    I prefer Nicks to Tate he is bigger and just a more talented player. He is the type of player that on a short term deal would be extremely motivated to get a big deal.

    Also contrary to your article they are the same age both were born in 1988.

    Jason Worlids is Pace all over again. We need pass rushers who can set the edge. That Edge setters who can rush a little. They both were player with really poor sack numbers and both got career years in sacks before they hit F/A. I just don’t buy him as a pass rusher when watching him.

    We should resign Pace as insurance if Antwan Barnes is not 100% this year. Then we can draft a developmental prospect in the draft like Jackson Jeffcoat,Larry Webster or Michael Sam. These guys may need a year or so but would be better investment than your F/A plan IMO. Remember before Barnes got hurt our pass rush/defense was operating at a high level.

    I think this is a sounder approach.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Fair point Pat. I’d really like to see the Jets be aggressive for TJ Ward. The team badly needs an upgrade at the position, Dawan Landry is barely average and Ed Reed’s play didn’t merit a return. I like Allen as one starter but they need to upgrade alongside him.

    Harold. I don’t see it with Nicks. People seem to only remember 2010 Nicks and not Nicks from the past two seasons. Here is now his numbers compare to Tate’s over the past 2 seasons (and Tate had a rookie QB last year and is in generally a more run heavy offense than Nicks)

    Tate: 109 receptions on 166 targets – 1,586 yards – 8 TDs
    Nicks: 109 receptions on 202 targers – 1,588 yards – 3 TDs

  • Beamen321

    Joe, very good article. I would like to know your thoughts on approaching FA and the draft as follows. How about signing two or three mid-tier FA WRs (like Maclin, Britt, Boldin, James Jones) and then forgoing WR early in the draft. I think it makes sense to draft OLB, TE and QB early because good players at those positions are rarely available in FA. Especially this year, when the top tier FAs at OLB is weaker then most as I see Orakpo as more of a name then a high level performer.

  • Harold

    Thanks for responding Joe:

    I still like Nicks as a 2 year stop gap and develop a couple draft picks at wr to take over down the road.

    As I have said before we should spend our money on a wr, cb and ilb. I always say draft RB, TE and Safety in the in the draft the shelf life is just too short at these positions.

  • Brad Jerris

    I would be very happy with getting a lot of solid players but no stars. Spend but don’t overpay and don’t give any huge contracts with huge guaranteed money. The one place I might try to get the top guy is at safety with Byrd or Ward but safety doesn’t cost as much as most positions. Then get G. Tate, Shields, Worild. I’m perplexed about TE, not crazy about any of them; might be best to bring back Cumberland and take a flyer on Brandon Myers or Pettigrew. If we get 3- 4 guys in Free Agency who can be starters and then get another 3-4 starters in the draft, we should be on the right track to becoming a good team.

  • KAsh

    Getting Nicks will depend on what kind of contract he wants. If he wants a short-term contract, he might as well stay with the Giants. They are not kicking him out, he knows the team, the players, and the system, and he does not have to test free agency. If Nicks wants a long-term contract, the Jets have to be wary giving it to him. His numbers just do not support such an investment.

    But rather than pay Tate or Nicks, I would prefer getting two lower tier FA WRs. If Maclin hits FA, you can offer him an incentives-laden contract and little competition for a starting spot. The other guy I would target is Kenny Britt. He has a reputation, but that is why he will be inexpensive and will accept a “show me” contract. He can go to Snorestown, AZ or MN, where the only thing to get in trouble for is cow-tipping, or he can come here, where good behaviour would mean something.

    The point is to save money to spend on an OLB. Orakpo and Worilds may not make it to FA, and the market is dry after them. Some have Pace as the third- or fourth-highest rated FA OLB, something to think about for those that are planning on resigning him for a veteran minimum. Hope either Brian or Jason test the waters then be ready to offer them a serious contract.

  • John X

    Joe, they will upgrade backup QB but not starter. They are not going to start all over again. They will build up around Geno.

    And I’m not writing off Decker like all of you seem to here. Just because you don’t get “value” doesn’t mean he can’t be invaluable to Geno’s development by being a reliable target. How much is that worth?
    And define value. To a WR-starved team that has a developing QB, does the dollar have the same value as it does to Denver, who has a top-5 WR, top slot WR, top-5 TE and HOF QB? Let’s not get wrapped up over value and place it into relevant terms and then somehow write-off that direction. I’d also go after a second FA WR – Maclin will not command that much cash and may like the prospect of playing for Marty again. Others who could be counted on to be reliable targets are Edelman, Cooper, James Jones, Damien Williams, Golden Tate…don’t worry, we have the money and more than this, need to spend it here. Just don’t overspend on CB & S.

    I love Worilds at OLB as he is the type of OLB Rex seems to like…big and athletic. Rex has passed over the prototypical small 3-4 weakside speed-rusher type OLB’s and what this does is enable his OLB’s to have more size to shut down the run. Worilds fits this mold and I believe they will go after him hard. Although they just may gun for Greg Hardy if he’s not franchised. They have the money and if they don’t overspend at Safety for a TJ Ward (if not franchised as well), they can form a frightening front 7. I actually like a true FS from FA – Chris Clemons. And he wouldn’t cost a fortune. The secondary needs to cover! You don’t need big hitters in this newly-regulated passing league…no head-hunting SS types. More FS’s. Adapt to the league rules, Rex.
    BTW, CB should not cost a fortune and Munnerlyn would be a great sticky, man-coverage performer for Rex’s style of D.

    Staying on the front 7, I may be the only Jet fan who believes David Harris will be cut, freeing 5M. I think his play has been erratic and is a big liability in coverage. Teams will most certainly pick on him (as Carolina did) when they can’t run and predictably, our secondary will be improved with Milliner gaining experience while they addressing the back four thru FA and the draft.
    Watch for a sleeper FA acquisition of ILB Vincent Rey from Cincy (RFA) who played far better in his short stint replacing Mauluga collecting 15 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 pass break-ups, and one INT in one game vs Baltimore. Can anyone recall 3 pass break-ups in the entire year for Harris? Sign this guy to an offer sheet (drafted as UDFA).

    I don’t see anyone talking about our OG situation so I’ll start. Colon is done. He can’t be relied on to be an effective starter without going down with another injury and his play was okay to not-so-hot while racking up a lot of penalties. And let’s face it, the OLine needs a LG. If you take a look at FA, you won’t find anyone that shouts “upgrade” over Winters. Asamoah was benched in the middle of the year and Beadles is just average taking advantage of their great center play the 2nd half of the year. Schwartz can only play RG IMO and he’s just a slight upgrade over Colon, Asamoah and Beadles. I hate to say it, but they need to address OG with their 2nd round pick to ensure a talented upgrade over Winters. One more athletic and better balanced to handle the pass rush. Then move Winters to RG.

    At TE, I think the Jets will keep on eye on Brent Celek who is owed 4M next year and could be a cap casualty. He’d be a great reliable option as blocking TE for Geno. Then use our 1st pick on either Ebron or Amaro, whoever is there. Ebron if both are there. Pair a dangerous TE corps with a reliable WR corps and running game and we’ll be fine on offense. Add another weapon or two in the draft.

  • KAsh

    @JX

    Decker will likely cost $8 million, and that is if all the Jeff Irelands of the NFL are gone and there is no one left to offer Decker Mike Wallace money. Could we get Decker and another receiver? Sure, but that would not leave enough money for other areas of need. Just a reminder, our needs are: 2 wide receivers, one tight end, one guard, one right tackle, one outside linebacker, one free safety, a new top cornerback, a veteran QB, and depth and backups everywhere else (need to extend Wilkerson for ~$11 million/yr and Kerley for ~$4-5 million/yr). You can have $100 million and twenty draft picks and not be able to address all of these issues.

    Which is why I question anyone that brings up the o-line. Did you knoe that in the four years Rex was coach, the Jets have drafted almost as many o-linemen as defensive players? We drafted three just last year! Where do you think all those skill position players we were supposed to have went? There are problems you can solve and problems that you cover with a band-aid and a smile. The o-line is the latter. Resign Howard, resign Colon, continue with Winters, and take your lumps. Maybe continuity does the unit some good and maybe your backups develop. Otherwise, this is next year’s problem.

  • John X

    You seem fairly certain that Decker will command 8M. And then what, we’ll be out of money? Surely, you jest.
    And you are skewing things a bit as yes, Idzik drafted three OL last year but two were on the 3rd day. Prior to that, there had been only one in the Rex era (in 5 years!), Slauson, another 3rd day pick in the 6th. For you to suggest that they now cannot address another pick on the OLine wouldn’t be prudent and that they somehow approach the numbers on defense is stretching things a lot…can’t anyone be honest?
    OG play was weak, no? Besides that, this is a new GM who has no allegiance to what TBaum did.
    I just don’t agree with the notion of taking your lumps and moving on with mediocrity.
    And I understand and take into account that Howard should be resigned. Very important, but not necessarily a cap-killing transaction.
    I just don’t see the need in spending money on another FA for that other need at OG. We have four picks in the first two days. You should get starters there. OG can be one. There’s money saved right there.
    And one for TE. One for FS. and one for OLB if you so choose…although I think they can easily afford an OLB in FA. CB’s are less expensive since last year’s market bottomed out. And I did offer a cheaper alternative to safety in Chris Clemons than a popular choice of TJ Ward. IMO, you paint an unnecessary picture of doom. We will be cutting Holmes, Sanchez, Cromartie and IMO, Harris. And we’re already 27M(?) under the cap. I also offered a cheaper alternative to the over-inflated David Harris contract saving more cash.

    As for Wilkerson, I don’t agree with the notion that Idzik will certainly extend him before this season. He typically waits and I understand he’s not in favor of early extensions. We’ll see what happens but if we’re taking that into account, this will obviously greatly limit the cap room for this offseason. I just don’t think this will happen until November/December for a contract that takes effect the next cap year. But that’s just me and no one including yourself had mentioned this as part of the discussion yet you interject to claim MY assessment is unrealistic. Again, try to be fair.

    If you want to stand behind your statement that going after Decker is not valuable for this team and moreover, not affordable, then that’s your call. You haven’t convinced me.
    I see it as a high-priority position to address and if it takes money, so be it. We actually have some.

  • Mark Phelan

    I agree with Joe’s view. The Jets have so many deficiencies. We can’t move the needle from mediocre/poor to excellent/very good in each of them.

  • Mark Phelan

    I agree with Joe’s view. The Jets have so many deficiencies. We can’t move the needle from mediocre/poor to excellent/very good in each of them.

  • JerryB

    I’d like to see the Jets pursue Jarius Byrd. It would not only fill a need with a ProBowl safety, but would also hurt a division rival.

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  • Nikolas

    With Free Agency the Jets have to address (minimum) 3 “must” positions.We need
    1).A backup Veteran QB (I like Shaun Hill)
    2).An experienced but young productive receiver (I like Eric Decker)
    3).A young but talented corner (I am dreaming Alterraun Verner), but Vontae Davis will do.

    I think these signings will not break the bank and there will be enough money to resign some of our valuable FA. (Pace, Austin, Cumberland and Reed)

    Some of you may object on signing back some of these players (e.g. Reed, Cumberland) but this team is too young and needs the presence of Veterans and their Leadership.
    You cannot underestimate the importance of veteran leadership, in any sport.

    By addressing the 3 must positions in FA it will allow now Management to fill (realistically) at least another 2 to 3 positions of need through the draft.

    TE- Eric Ebron/ Jace Amaro 1st round

    OG- Cyril Richardson/ Anthony Steen/Gabe Jackson/ Dakota Dozier 2nd or 3rd round

    OLB- Dee Ford/ Jeremiah Attaochu/ Michael Sam/ Carl Bradford/Jordan Zumwalt, in round 2 or3 or 4

    This will leave another 7-9 draft picks to get depth everywhere, WR, FS, ILB, RB, DL, DE, OT, CB, and if we are lucky we may have some pleasant surprises (e.g. Dion Bailey in the 4th round looks like a potential starting FS)

  • John X

    @Nikolas – you’ve got at least 30-35M remaining assuming you’ve signed Howard. As a GM, you’re not doing your job equipping the team with such little spending. The most expensive FA CB last year got 4M annually. And it’s a deep CB class which should keep that price steady.

    What’s with the severe modesty? The Jets are looking at about 50M of cap space and many of you are pinching pennies. That was our situation last year.

    I like your picks in the draft. And a lot of backup depth will be addressed with those 3rd day picks.
    As for the vets, I can see them retaining Reed but I’m not on the Cumberland bandwagon – I thought he disappeared way too often especially when Geno needed him most.
    From the latest report, Pace will be pursued by the Jets.

  • Harold

    John X not sure where you got your facts from I but several CB got more than 4 million last year. Grimes got 5.5 million and he was coming off an ACL.

    Plus many of the top tier CB’s were already under contract.

    The top CB’s will traditionally get between 8-10 million dollars per year.

  • Nikolas

    @John X, I think that we have some players like Wilkerson that will need to be extended by paying considerably more money. But I agree with you that if the money is there they should be aggressive and go get a top player like e.g a Jairus Byrd or Orakpo.

  • Harold

    Nikolas good post:

    But I would draft your guard in the 3rd or 4th round. Too much other talent early to waste a pick (from a value prespective the guards you put up are solid, but one or two of them will be available when we pick at the top of the 3rd

    I would target a pass rusher in the 3rd as well… Another name to add to your list is Jackson Jeffcoat.

    But I definitely would target the TE early. However I would look to trade back and get whichever of the 3 top TE’s drops to me.

  • John X

    Harold, did you notice how long Winters (3rd round) took to develop last year? If they don’t go FA, they need to move up IMO to get a LG or a viable RG if they believe Winters truly can man that LG position (I have my doubts).
    I know it would sting to go OL high in this draft when we need weapons but this is precisely why I believe the Jets should address WR’s thru FA. Where are the OG’s in FA? They suck. Do you really feel comfortable with Winters at LG. Maybe you do. I thought he was out of position.

    You’re right about Grimes (sorry) but the price bottomed out last year as CB’s had been making more as you point out. I only recall Sean Smith getting 4M (but I was wrong, he also got 5.5M) and was considered the top CB in FA last year.
    The league (besides Ireland) doesn’t feel CB’s are to be paid elite money any longer.

  • Harold

    But last year was not a talent filled year. This year age meets talent you will see at least 5 CB’s get 6-10, with two probably getting 8-10 million. Because almost all of them are 25 or 26 years old. Last year would have been a good year to get a steal but this year you will ned to paya little more.

    As for Winters I think he is athletic enough for LG. He just needed time to adjust coming from the MAC and switching positions.

    You can get a quality guard in the 3rd round. We pick 5th in the 3rd . I don’t see a problem getting a good player there.

  • KAsh

    Last year, Revis got $16 million dollars. Or you forgot about him? He was not a free agent, but he shapes the market, so your notion of corners bottoming out is ridiculous. Again, a corner got the most expensive contract for a defensive player last year.

    Two, there have been a total of six o-line players drafted by the Jets in the five years Rex has been here: Slauson, Ducasse, some guy in 2012, Winters, Aboushi, and Campbell. There have been a total eight players on the defensive side: Wilson, Wilkerson, Ellis, Coples, Davis, Bush, Allen, Milliner, and Richardson. We have had a total of 27 picks in the past five years and almost a fourth went to the offensive line and another fourth on tailbacks. On the roster, we have Aboushi, Ijalana, and Campbell, Schlauderaff, and Freeman who are backups and can play guard. If you put them all into one elevator, it would be over capacity, but, yeah, we need more people at the position.

    Lastly, we are $23 million under the cap and can get to $49 million by cutting a backup quarterback, top corner, and top receiver, which we will then need to replace. But you are imagining us getting Decker ($8 million), Maclin (I’ll say $5 million based on injury but also dominance when healthy), Orakpo or Worilds ($10 million, due to a very short list of OLB available in FA), resigning Howard (at least $5 million), as well as signing a safety and a top corner. If you actually took the time to sit down and add up the numbers you want to spend, you would see how quickly that salary cap is gone. Also, you can extend Wilkerson this year, when you have the cap room and he is still under contract, or you can extend him next year, but you have to activate the fifth-year option this year, paying him significantly more in 2015 AND ruining your relationship by tying him up with a (relatively) cheap contract. So, you can get Wilkerson for $11 million/yr this year or likely $13-15 million in the future, when you are more likely to be cash-strapped. But your strategy for Wilkerson is real good.

  • JamesD

    The point of the article was not to overpay for ANY free agent, so I’m glad you brought that up, KAsh, because it seemed to me people were underestimating the cost of some of the free agents and overestimating our ability to sign them. Which is besides the fact that teams that win consistently (Pats, Ravens, etc.) don’t build their team with FA’s and don’t ever overpay for one.
    I do think you have to extend Wilkerson ASAP, although I don’t think he’ll demand quite as much as the 11-15 million you were projecting. The fact that he wasn’t voted to the Pro Bowl shows he’s still not thought of in the same breath as guys like JJ Watt, even though he is just as productive.
    I think we need to bring in middle-tier guys with value contracts at WR, TE, RB, and QB, and then draft a guy at each of those positions. We should probably draft a OG as well, for which (despite John X’s point about Winters) you can usually get a starting level player in the 3rd or 4th round. We definitely need Safety and OLB help, but I don’t think the FA group at those positions is as impressive there as some other people do, and we would probably be better served by drafting one at each, anyway.
    I think we can have a productive off-season, as long as we accept that we can’t plug all of our holes in the next few months, and instead focus on where we can make a difference. Re-signing Colon as a stopgap, and renegotiating Cromartie and Harris would keep us competitive and free up money to fill some of our other holes. We can be a playoff team next year, but don’t expect us to become the 49ers in one off-season.

  • John X

    Kash, I forgot about Ducasse (and will always try to forget) and you forgot the name of the other OL named Robert Griffin, another 6th rounder. That brings the total OL selected in five years to a whopping total of 6 as you mention but there are 9, not 8 defensive players that you correctly list. And when you add up 4 of the 6 OL being on the 3rd day, your statement really isn’t so outlandish.
    Your assessment doesn’t come close to convincing me that the Jets will somehow say “whoa, we can’t possibly draft another OL even in the case of an actual need since we drafted 6 in 5 years”. That’s a preposterous stance IMO.

    I’m fully aware we CAN extend Wilkerson – your explanation is like telling a 10-year old for the first time. Pretty funny.
    Did you even read my reasoning as to why not? You should show the courtesy to read a post before replying.
    I’ll say it again here – my numbers are based on NOT extending Wilkerson. I’ll say it again since you insist on glossing over this point – Wilkerson will NOT be extended this offseason for my scenario to work. Don’t make me repeat this again. Try to let this sink in.

    Yes, the cap disappears when you sign guys for big contracts, Cpt Obvious but you continue to insist on the Wilkerson extension when I don’t. Please refrain from placing words in my mouth.
    And if you believe Worilds will command 10M per year…

  • John X

    Harold, you might be right about this year’s CB market but I would counter by suggesting that it could be a deeper pool. Could be. We’ll see how many are franchised and make it to FA.
    I agree with a previous post of yours in that we don’t need an “A” CB opposite Milliner in Rex’ defense. We may not need to pay too much for a CB. Hopefully.

    I hope you’re right about WInters. If you’re wrong, I would expect the 2nd rounder to be burned on a LG. I don’t think you’ll find a decent one escaping the 2nd round this year. I agree that a good RG could be had with one of our 3rd’s and if Winters is truly our LG moving forward, the FA’s are decent enough for RG, like Schwartz.

  • KAsh

    My analysis of your cap breakdown did not factor in Wilkerson. I basically burned through $40,000,000 without extending Wilkerson or Kerley or resigning anyone expect Howard and still needing a TE, OG, and a kicker (as well as depth players).

    I just added Wilkerson into a discussion of value and the cap. I found it interesting that someone who is pro-spending is trying to save on the one case of elite homegrown talent, when he would prove even more expensive as soon as next year.

  • John X

    I love how you add up to 40M so quickly through only signing an overpriced (with YOUR price, not mine) OLB, two WR’s, CB, and Safety. I guess Santa forgot to leave you a calculator this Christmas.
    And to clarify as you once again wrongfully placed words in my mouth, I said NOTHING about free agency signings for an OG and suggested only an inexpensive blocking TE Celek who won’t break the bank. My scenario CAN work and Worilds will not cost 10M nor will a combo of S,CB and 2 (WR’s) total 30M. Speak for yourself and choose simply to disagree but why make up fuzzy math, twist logic and pretend that you can’t add? You’re as dishonest as they come. All in the name of hoping that someone affirms your opinions. Downright shameful.

    Anyway, I’m providing an excerpt from a column that speaks this past week about Wilkerson and the likelihood of his mandatory 5th year option due to the CBA:

    Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson may not get that contract extension, after all. Like all first-round picks in the 2011 draft class, he could get burned by the fifth-year option in his contract.

    “Wilkerson signed a four-year contract, plus an option. It was widely assumed that Wilkerson and the other stars from that class would sign new, long-term deals after the third season, but an article by Jason Cole on National Football Post explains why that’s not likely to happen. Turns out those fifth-year option salaries (based on a formula) aren’t projected to be as big as anticipated, so it makes dollars and sense for teams to simply pay the option year instead of renegotiating a new contract. Teams have until May 3 to exercise the option.”

    So much for your interjecting his extension. Hasn’t happened yet.

  • KAsh

    I will not go through the numbers again. If you think that you can sign and resign close to ten starters and major contributors in one offseason and not destroy your cap situation over the next few years, there is nothing more I can tell you.

    As for Wilkerson and the rookie option, here is an overlook of the option as it pertains to all the teams, the performances of the players, and the teams’ salary cap situations:

    http://overthecap.com/looking-ahead-first-rookie-option-years/

    Here is the same guy (who specializes in NFL contracts) responding at 3:10 to the article that you cited:

    http://overthecap.com/podcast-rookie-options-qa-richard-sherman/

  • Lidman

    I think this is a hard debate to have until after the Super Bowl, and the market develops for the specific positions. For instance:

    -If TB doesn’t cut Revis, how does the CB market change? Yes, he has this year to year contract, but if he’s there, on this deal, next year the $32mm he gets will be 20-40%, that other top CBs received in their guarantees (which is all that really counts). So, when Sherman goes to re-neg, you can be sure he’ll point to that number, in guaranteed money, as a starting point. That will affect the Verners and other CBs.
    -Will Watt, Suh, or McCoy get extended? If they do, that effects what the NYJ do with Wilkerson. We all love Mo, but facts are facts: he hasn’t made a Pro-Bowl, or All-Pro team, so I don’t see how he’ll command $11mm, unless the top guys push the overall level higher. I do think he has to be extended this year. I simply don’t see him taking the risk, without getting paid up front. Remember, his class is the first rookie class to have the new wage scale. So, the value of his deal is ‘only’ $6+mm. Sure, if the NYJ pick up the option he’ll get an average of the top 5, but he’s going to be looking for a lot more than the $8-9mm in guarantees, IMO.
    -I see Joe’s point, in improving the overall talent. However, if the idea is to win a Super Bowl, you need dominant players. I think guys like Tate and Worilds tend to be overpaid-see Ellerbe, Wallace and Kruger last year. If Seattle and Pittsburgh don’t keep them, doesn’t that tell you how they value them? Yes, I know it could be a cap issue, but if Seattle really believes Tate is up can coming, they will value him that way. I’m not fully against going after these players, however I can’t see overpaying to get them to come here. In Tate’s case, the NYJ should figure out what they’ll be willing to give Kerley and that is the neighborhood Tate should be in. Nothing in his NFL career tells you he’s been anything more, IMO. Again, I’ll cite Mike Wallace who makes 2x what Brian Hartline does, but gives you basically the same production. When you do that, you limit your ability to maneuver elsewhere.
    -After the Super Bowl and before the draft, there will be unexepected cuts-it happens every year. Look at the deals SF and Baltimore got on Boldin and Dumervil. Why pay up for a Worilds, or even Orakpo, if there is a possibility you can get D Ware, on a discount? Laugh, but when you look at Dallas’ cap situation http://goo.gl/ZtXMUy, you’ll see that it’s likely they’ll restructure Romo and that Ware is really the only place where they can get cap relief. Sure, they could extend him, but he hasn’t been very healthy and he’s 31. That said, if your the NYJ and you can get him at $7mm (I’m just throwing that out there), he’d certainly look great in your 3-4, no?
    -the other point I want to make is before we talk about finding another G, let’s see how Winters looks in camp/pre-season. He too improved in December. I think it’s plausible to believe he’ll get better. In this light, maybe Campbell or Aboushi will be ready by next season. At this time last year, did anyone see Harrison being the contributor he turned out to be, how about Antonio Allen?
    Long winded point (when am I not), but again before we can really opine on who Idzik should, or should not pursue, we need to have a full picture on who’s available and what costs what. On top of that the coaches need to assign the probability of young players developing enough to contribute as well.