Given the cap situation we were put in when the team went for broke a few seasons ago, it is not surprising where the team is at. They kept some players they believed would work, made deals that now have ramifications cap wise. Took a shot, missed.
What must be emphasized is this is NOT a 5-6 year rebuild. Nobody in the NFL has to do that, unless you have REALLY screwed your team up, which the Jets haven't. Here is a scenario that could work, as I am sure we will see more as people add to this thread.
A complete overhaul might happen. I can see Tanny getting fired, and possibly even Rex. The team should first off switch to a 4-3, given the talent we have there with Mo, Coples, Ellis, Pouha, and hopefully improvement with Harrison.
Bart Scott: He will save $7.1 million and could be brought back for one more season at his dead money price of $1.5 million.
Calvin Pace: Pace will save $8.3, and could be resigned for 1-2 years because he will count for $3 million dead money.
Jason Smith: $12 million in full savings.
Eric Smith: $3 million in full savings.
Darrelle Revis. The arguments need to go out the window about Revis being our best player. The defense has shown well without him, and if your best player is a CB, you have bigger problems. Looking at the Vikings, they would fit well. Their CB play is okay, but Winnfield is getting old, and the Vikings HAVE to spend money next year to meet the new NFL collective agreement on Salary Cap floors. I also think it is a better value, in this draft, to get two picks for Revis. He is NOT going to get two #1's. People are dreaming if they think that. So the trade would be for Minnesota's #2 and #3 in this draft.
Free Agent signings
We will have little money, but there may be an opportunity to pick up a couple of guys.
TE: Dallas Clark or Jarred Cook. Both could come at decent prices for different reasons.
FS: Kerry Rhodes. Might come cheaper than expected.
WR: Julian Edelman. This guy has talent, and can be used many different ways. With all the big names people will fight for next year, a guy like this could be signed to a VERY reasonable contract.
G or S: Andy Levitre or Jarrus Byrd. These two might be pricey, but good talent in Buffalo. I would lean toward Levitre myself.
Right now, it is projected we would be 7th overall. If that were the case, I would trade down from here in to the 12-15 range, given teams desire when they see the likes of Mingo, Joeckel, Banks, Barkley and Teo sitting there. I think a mid third is reasonable, given the chart is becoming more obsolete.
12: CJ Mosley-OLB 4/3. Perfect pick for a switch to 4/3
38: Tyler Wilson QB. Many have him projected in this range given the season he is having. He would be a STEAL here, because this kid has talent.
51 (pick from Minny from where they are projected): Desmond Trufant-CB. Solves two problems: Gives us an automatic starter across from Cromartie (and hopefully Berry will see the field more and Wilson less), and keeps him out of Patriots hands (where he is projected).
69: Stepfan Taylor-RB. New starter, pure and simple.
73 (from 1st round trade down): Chris Gragg-TE. We need to draft a new TE, and what better way to do it than pull a Colts move. Give Wilson a target he has known his whole career (ala Luck and Fleener).
83 (Minny pick): Seantrel Henderson-RT. Howard has done well, but he would best serve as a back-up.
101: Sean Porter-OLB 4-3. Two brand new linebackers to go with what we have.
I think, like Kerry Rhodes on this site, Sanchez is tradeable. Some team will think he was given a raw deal here with lack of talent, and try to resurrect his career. I think it might happen in 2014, given his contract.
Santanio Holmes: His contract would save $8.2 million, but count $2.5 in dead money. Someone might be willing to trade though in this year, given the following year's contract status.
David Harris: $5 million in savings, $2 million in dead money. He could be resigned, but his play does not warrant this contract.
Antonio Cromartie: His contract is worth $10.7 million, but he will either be removed or renegotiated, given he has a $5 million roster bonus.
Sione Pouha: Same here for Pouha. He is due $4.5 million roster bonus, and he won't be seeing it.