New York Jets Ideal Offseason Part 2

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In Part One, I trimmed the fat sort of speak from the New York Jets roster. Before the roster cuts I made, the Jets’ cap situation looked like this

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:

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)

NFL Draft:
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:

Quarterbacks:
1. Geno Smith
2. Matt Cassel
3. David Fales

Running Backs:
1. Chris Ivory
2. Bilal Powell
3. Dri Archer (Kick Returner/Punt Returner)

Fullbacks:
1. Tommy Bohanon

Wide Receivers:
1. Golden Tate
2. Jordan Matthews
3. Jeremy Kerley
4. Jason Avant
5. David Nelson
6. Greg Salas
7. Saalim Hakim (Kick Returner)

Tight Ends:
1. Eric Ebron
2. Zach Sudfeld
3. Scott Chandler

Offensive Tackles:
1. D’Brickashaw Ferguson
2. Eric Winston
3. Winston Justice
4. Benjamin Ijalana

Offensive Guards:
1. Willie Colon
2. Brian Winters
3. Oday Aboushi
4. William Campbell

Centers:
1. Nick Mangold
2. Caleb Schaluderaff
3. Tanner Purdum (Long Snapper)

Defensive Line:
1. Muhammad Wilkerson
2. Sheldon Richardson
3. Damon Harrison
4. Kenrick Ellis
5. Anthony Johnson

Linebackers:
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

Cornerbacks:
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).

Safeties:
1. Malcolm Jenkins
2. Antonio Allen
3. Dawan Landry
4. Dion Bailey
5. Josh Bush
6. Jaiquawn Jarrett

Kicker:
1. Nick Folk

Punter:
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.

  • Nick Evans

    Been preaching Matt cassel for a while. His knowledge of the WCO would be ideal I thought he played pretty well last year for Minnesota.

  • KAsh

    In part one, you lost or let go of 20 players. That is why your training camp roster reads like your final roster. You have just 56 players after the draft (58 with the addition of Lankster and Patrick). Either the Jets hire 30+ UDFAs and non-NFL players or they head into camp with the roster all but decided (and an injury away from someone named Telvin Smith starting). There is a difference between trimming fat and slicing off bone and sinew.

  • phillyTheJet

    in a perfect world this mock draft would be ideal in my opinion. Jordan Mathews is the 3rd best receiver in this class and the second most pro ready receiver behind only Sammy Watkins. i believe he is flying under the radar for a reason and its because we are going to take him at 18 barring an Evans drop, or trade back to get both Amaro and Mathews. I see virtually no way we get both ebron and JDM unless ebron drops to 18 and we trade up drastically to get Mathews. (he will not make it out of the first round i promise you that. No 6’3 1/2, 4.46 speed receiver with the biggest and most reliable hands in the draft is going to go un noticed. watch his game film. will not make it past Belnicheck guaranteed.)

  • matt

    You think the Jets could package a few picks and pull off a trade with New Orleans and snag Jimmy Graham?

  • Harold

    Telvin Smith is an 2nd or 3rd round prospect. You have him going in the 5th round? Don’t see that happening.

    Also your F/A dollar amounts are all over the place. You have per Winston with a 1 million dollar bonus but he is competing for a job? This makes no sense.

    I could go on but this an average breakdown that doesn’t get us what we need.

  • Dalbin

    Hey guys, once again, thanks for replying.

    I don’t think the Jets should package picks together for Jimmy Graham. He’s a one dimensional player, albeit a very good one, and we have more holes that could be filled. The Jeyd aren’t one player away, in my opinion.
    This wasn’t my mock draft; the guys at DraftSite did it and it was the best mock draft out there that, after the free agency I outlined, gave the Jets the best possible outcome for this year and going forward. I do think that Winston, if signed to compete with Justice, would be pegged as the starter initially and in turn would receive that signing bonus. We all have different opinions on who goes where and who is a second round prospect versus who isn’t etc. I think this gives the Jets their best shot at contending this year and for the foreseeable future.

  • Dan in RI

    If the chips fall as you predict, I’d be a happy camper. A receiving corps of Tate, Benjamin, Kerley and Nelson (and maybe Hill, if he can stay healthy), with Eric Ebron and Scott Chandler at TE would be such a vast improvement over what we had last year that Geno Smith would think he died and went to heaven. And with Dri Archer in the backfield, he would have a big threat safety valve who can actually catch the ball and make something happen after the catch.

    One small quibble, though–I don’t think the Jets are going to let Austin Howard walk. He has grown up in their system, and has become a very solid member of the OL.

  • Lidman

    I think calling J Graham a ‘one dimensional player’ is a stretch. Why, because he doesn’t block well? So, you’d rather have say, Scott Chandler who’s a decent blocker and so so receiver? Graham is a difference making talent. He commands a double team, and is arguable the top RZ threat in the league. Call me nuts, but I’d love to have a ‘one dimensional’ guy like that.

    He’s worth a number 1, in my book…not sure I’d give up multiple picks though.

  • Dalbin

    Dan: I hope Howard does resign, but I’m worried that some team is going to overpay for him given the lack of good young RTs available.
    Lidman: That’s exactly why. He is one dimensional; not saying I’d rather have a guy like Chandler, but I think giving up a first round pick (or in this case multiple firsts) for a guy that you’d have to take out when you run the ball, which the Jets would do, is a little shortsighted. Graham is a very good player but Eric Ebron could give you 75% of Jimmy’s numbers for 1/11th of the cost. That was more my thought process. The draft picks are steep enough but then he wants to get paid like a WR? I’d pass.

  • Lidman

    Your opinion is as valid as any. I wouldn’t hestitate to give up a #1 for Graham. Sure, Ebron could be 75% of him, but he could also be Johnny Mitchell too. Good scouting departments should tilt the odds in your favor, but the fact remains drafting, and more 1st round drafting, is very risky.

    Given the chance to get a ‘known commodity’, in his prime, versus the chance I might have a guy who is 75% of said commodity isnt’ even a decision in my book.

  • Dalbin

    Oh man, Johnny Mitchell? Cumberland is the reverse Johnny, right? Lol no, you’re absolutely right in that you never know with the draft.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Why I worry about paying a hefty price for Graham…he doesn’t block and we’ve seen defenses effectively double him/take him away, similar to NE and SEA last year (and an average PHI defense in the playoffs). The guy is obviously immensely talented but it sounds like you have to give a first rounder AND another pick..I just think that is just too steep.

  • KAsh

    We cannot get Graham. We pay a #18 pick this year, then Geno flops, the backup proves to be, well, a backup, and we lose a top-10 pick next year. The Patriots can give up two first rounders because Brady almost guarantees they will be in the high 20s; we are a rebuilding team that has no depth at any spot of the offense to ensure that Graham is not wasted.

  • AzzJuice

    That draft would be ideal. Can’t get much better than that.

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