So why is that $19 million misleading? Because it has no look at the Jets roster makeup and flexibility the team has in navigating the roster. The group that I call “The Big Four” is a bonanza in cap savings. The Big Four are Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Wayne Hunter, and Eric Smith. Barring a miracle none will be on the team next season and even if the miracle occurs would be nowhere near their current salaries. Those four represent $22.71 million in cap savings prior to free agency and the draft. That immediately puts the Jets at a salary of about $116.5 million, which would be $4.5 million or so under the Clayton projected cap.
The Jets will also have carry over space. As of June 9 they had about $6 million in cap room with only one rookie remaining to sign. There will be a few changes here and there that will likely bring that number down to $4 million over the course of the year, assuming they don’t use their option to borrow against future caps, which will all be carried over giving the team now $8 million in cap room.