Total Cap Space Before Cuts: $25,744,583:
Total Cap Space After Cuts: $53,018,336
Because of the rule of 51, where only a team’s top 51 salaries count towards the cap, you’ll see at the bottom only those salaries count towards the remaining cap space. The contracts for free agent signings are what I would pay them (remember, this is ideal), and you’ll see my rationale below. For the draft picks, I used Draft Site’s latest 7 round mock draft, with a couple of minor changes depending on who was still available. I also used the rookie wage scale to slot the salary numbers and contracts. Remember that these are estimates based off of last year. As always, your comments are appreciated. Let’s start with free agency:
1. QB Matt Cassel: 2 years, $3.5M per season, $1M signing bonus (Total: $4.5 M per year) Rationale: Gives Cassel a chance to compete against Geno Smith for the starting QB position, and gives Rex and Marty a veteran option that can play in the west coast offense in case Geno falters.
2. WR Golden Tate: 4 years, $6M per season, $2M signing bonus (Total: $8M per year) Rationale: The Seahawks seem to have prioritized bringing back Michael Bennett, and Tate has not heard anything. John Idzik was part of the front office that scouted Tate, and I expect Tate to be Idzik’s big money signing this free agency to give Geno (or Cassel) a legitimate wide receiver not named Jeremy Kerley.
3. WR Jason Avant: 1 year, $1M per season, $500,000 signing bonus (Total: $1.5M per year) Rationale: Avant has familiarity with Marty’s offense and has very good hands. He’s not a burner or someone that will stretch the field, but he is a quality depth guy that can produce when called upon.
4. TE Scott Chandler: 2 years, $1M per season, $250,000 signing bonus (Total: $1.25M per year) Rationale: Losing Chandler hurts a division rival in the Bills, and adds a good blocking and receiving tight end in Chandler. Chandler is a good red zone target that could be utilized in run heavy formations as a target in the passing game.
5. RT Eric Winston: 1 year, $3M per season, $1M signing bonus (Total: $4M per year) Rationale: Losing Austin Howard, the Jets turn to former Pro Bowler Eric Winston to fill the void. Winston is a veteran that can still produce at a high level and is a good replacement for Howard.
6. RT Winston Justice: 2 year, $$750,000 per season, $250,000 signing bonus (Total: $1M per year) Rationale: They’ll, also, sign Winston Justice to compete with Eric Winston at RT. The former Trojan has played on both sides of the line and brings much needed versatility to the Jets.
7. OLB O’Brien Schofield: 3 years, $1.3M per season, $200,000 signing bonus (Total: $1.5M per year) Rationale: With Brian Orakpo and Jason Worilds franchise and transition tagged respectively, the OLB pool is ridiculously thin. Schofield is arguably the best of the bunch and the Jets can plug him in to Calvin Pace’s spot (I do think Pace is resigned, but for veteran leadership) and Schofield will be more productive.
8. CB Walter Thurmond III: 2 years, $2.5M per season, $500,000 signing bonus (total: $3M per year) Rationale: Idzik was, also, part of the front office that couted and drafted Thurmond. Thurmond would be brought in to compete with Antonio Cromartie, as well as replace Kyle Wilson (who I have being traded).
9. FS Malcolm Jenkins: 1 year, $2.5M per season, $250,000 signing bonus (total: $3M per year) Rationale: I see Rob Ryan recommending Jenkins to Rex (probably during their visit to Hooters last week) and Rex finally gets a true free safety for his Jets defense. Plus, adding Jenkins at this price and for only a year makes this a low risk deal for the Jets.
10. P Mat Macbriar: 1 year, $1M per season, $100,000 signing bonus (total: $1.1M per year) Rationale: Quigley was, at times, atrocious last year. With a new special teams coach I could see the Jets using the opportunity to revamp their entire special teams unit.
Total Cap Space After Signing Free Agents: $21,168,336 (factoring in Nick Folk’s franchise tag)
18. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina (4 years, $8.2 total, Year One: $1.5M)
49. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (4 years, $3.9M total, Year One: $716,509)
69. Dion Bailey, S, USC (4 years, $2.6M total, Year One: $670,000)
80. Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (4 years, $2.4M total, Year One: $600,000)
111. David Fales, QB, San Jose State (4 years, $2.36M total, Year One: $590,000)
142. Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State (4 years, $2.32M total, Year One: $580,000)
179. Dri Archer, RB, Kent State (4 years, $2.2M total, Year One: $565,992)
210. Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon (4 years, $2M total, Year One: $500,000)
Total Cap Space after Draft Picks Sign: $15,445, 835 (not counting compensatory picks)
This amount of cap space will give the Jets financial flexibility going forward, as well as allow them to begin contract extension discussions with both Muhammad Wilkerson and Jeremy Kerley should they choose to. The Jets depth chart, after all of this, will look like this:
1. Geno Smith
2. Matt Cassel
3. David Fales
1. Chris Ivory
2. Bilal Powell
3. Dri Archer (Kick Returner/Punt Returner)
1. Tommy Bohanon
1. Golden Tate
2. Jordan Matthews
3. Jeremy Kerley
4. Jason Avant
5. David Nelson
6. Greg Salas
7. Saalim Hakim (Kick Returner)
1. Eric Ebron
2. Zach Sudfeld
3. Scott Chandler
1. D’Brickashaw Ferguson
2. Eric Winston
3. Winston Justice
4. Benjamin Ijalana
1. Willie Colon
2. Brian Winters
3. Oday Aboushi
4. William Campbell
1. Nick Mangold
2. Caleb Schaluderaff
3. Tanner Purdum (Long Snapper)
1. Muhammad Wilkerson
2. Sheldon Richardson
3. Damon Harrison
4. Kenrick Ellis
5. Anthony Johnson
1. David Harris:
2. Demario Davis
3. O’Brien Schofield
4. Calvin Pace:
5. Quentin Coples
6. Telvin Smith
7. Nick Bellore
8. Jermaine Cunningham
9. Antwan Barnes
1. Antonio Cromartie
2. Dee Milliner
3. Walter Thurmond III
4. Darrin Walls
5. Isaiah Trufant: 2013
6. Aaron Berry: 2013
(Ellis Lankster was resigned yesterday and the Jets were also awarded Johnny Patrick from the Chargers).
1. Malcolm Jenkins
2. Antonio Allen
3. Dawan Landry
4. Dion Bailey
5. Josh Bush
6. Jaiquawn Jarrett
1. Nick Folk
1. Mat Macbriar
Notes: This isn’t the final 53; this is who is on the Jets roster after the draft. Yes, I think Dalton Freeman will be the back up center after training camp.