We’ve all heard the headlines. “The Jets will be bound to have $100 million in cap room this coming offseason, expect a major splash in free agency.” But, as of now the Jets currently stand at $79 million. What moves will they make, if any, to reach the $100 million mark?
Without any cuts, signings or trades, the Jets own the third most cap space in the NFL, behind only the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns. Keep in mind all teams, including the Jets, have to re-sign some pending free agents, but this year the Jets happen to be pretty safe. Demario Davis and Austin Seferian-Jenkins highlight the top two pending free agents this coming offseason. Although they won’t be cheap, it shouldn’t cost the Jets too much.
The Jets only have $79 million at the moment, which will definitely change before free agency hits. The Jets have several overpaid players on their roster that can be cut or given a restructured contract. Some of the notable names that can possibly fall into those categories are Muhammad Wilkerson, Matt Forte, Ben Ijalana, Buster Skrine and Devin Smith.
— The Jet Press (@TheJetPress) February 6, 2018
How much money will cutting these players save? Here’s a look at how cutting these players can affect the cap space for this coming offseason.
Muhammad Wilkerson: Saves $11 million
Matt Forte: Saves $3 million
Ben Ijalana: Saves $4.7 million
Buster Skrine: Saves $6 million
Devin Smith: Saves $1.2 million
TOTAL: Saves $25.9 million
Original Cap Space: $79.5 million
Adjusted Cap Space: $105.4 million
Evidently, the Jets can save a ton of money by cutting these guys. $105.4 million is a whole lot of spending room. To put it into perspective, the Jets can sign Kirk Cousins ($35 million) and Le’Veon Bell ($15 million) and still have over half of their cap space left. Don’t get too excited, this won’t happen because it would destroy the future of the franchise. But, it’s a good example to show how much money Mike Maccagnan and company can find themselves using come free agency.
This is a good time to remind Bills fans that the Jets will probably have over $70 million in cap room when Cousins hits the market. The Bills won’t. Don’t get your hopes up. https://t.co/NZKLpX0TYY
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) January 31, 2018
Of course, things aren’t that easy. Every team has key guys to re-sign after every season, just like the Jets do this year. However, the Jets don’t have too many money-makers asking for a new contract this year. Other teams have it much worse, such as the 49ers. Re-signing Jimmy Garrapolo and Carlos Hyde is going to cost a lot. A whole lot.
As for the other team with more money than the Jets, the Browns have a short list of free agents as well. Isaiah Crowell and Josh Gordon highlight their list. But when it all comes down to it, they’re the Browns. I mean, what free agent wants to play for the Cleveland Browns?
As of now, the Jets are likely looking to re-sign Josh McCown, Demario Davis, Morris Claiborne and Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kony Ealy, along with some other depth players. If all of these guys get re-signed (which may not happen), I’d give a rough estimate of around $30 million spent. After all elements are included, here is the final salary cap projection after a realistic simulation of events:
Original Cap Space: $79,479,261
Saved Cap Space: $25,907,660
Total Cap Space (No Re-signing): $105,386,921
Cap Space (With Re-signing): $75,386,921