A belated welcome to March, a month of madness in the NFL. It will be eventful for the New York Jets, whose roster will undergo major changes over the next four weeks. A sneak preview :
1. The purge: Even though they have plenty of salary-cap space, the Jets will unload some dead weight. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes will be released any day, an $8.25 million savings. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie ($14.98 million cap charge) will be released unless he takes a pay cut for the final year of his contract, which includes a prohibitive $5 million roster bonus. When healthy, Cromartie still is a quality corner. My gut tells me Cromartie will end up playing for the Jets in 2014.
2. The Sanchez saga: General manager John Idzik has yet to reveal his hand with regard to his plans for quarterback Mark Sanchez. At this point, why would he? He has until March 25, when a $2 million roster bonus is due. Starting March 11, I expect the Jets to chase the top free-agent quarterbacks, namely Michael Vick and Josh McCown. If they get shut out, the possibility of retaining Sanchez becomes realistic. It would be contingent on a pay cut (his base salary is $9 million) and a positive medical report on his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. He spent last week at the team's facility, rehabbing under the watchful eyes of the trainers. While I still think Sanchez's ouster is likely, I wouldn't call it a foregone conclusion. Why cut the man unless you have a replacement?
3. Idzik's first big deal: In 13 months as the GM, Idzik has yet to dole out a big contract for a veteran player. By big, I mean at least $5 million per year. Who will be his first major investment? Chances are, it will be right tackle Austin Howard, who will be an unrestricted free agent. The Jets are trying to get him locked up before March 11. Other players they'd like to keep are tight end Jeff Cumberland and outside linebacker Calvin Pace.
4. Gentlemen, start your checkbooks: With a $133 million salary cap, the Jets are $21.2 million under the cap, according to ESPN's figures. They have the flexibility to be big spenders. Look for them to attack the wide-receiver market, with Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks), Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants) among the most likely targets. Eric Decker (Denver Broncos) will be a hot commodity, but probably too pricey for the Jets. They could be looking for a tight end, perhaps Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions), if they fail to re-sign Cumberland. The goal for the offseason is to upgrade the offense. By the end of the month, the skill positions could have a different look.
Who Goes Where ?
The Ideal New York Jets Offseason (Part One)
Tagged: Dalbin Osorio, Free Agency, New York Jets, NFL, offseason
NFL Free Agency, or Christmas as its known around the TOJ office, begins March 11th, 2014 at 4:00 PM. Weve been chronicling the available free agents that the Jets could potentially target all off-season long so far (we only have Safeties left), but now its time to focus on the actual holes that the Jets will have to fill. Ill be outlining the current 53 man roster (including players on IR) with predictions on whether they will be wearing Green and White next season and, if not, where they will end up. If I note that they will be released or traded, the cap savings will be written at in parenthesis (all cap numbers are from Spotrac.com). The second part of this two part series will deal with how I would ideally fill the holes the Jets will need to fill, very similarly to this amazing piece done by Cole Patterson. As always, your comments will be appreciated.
1. Geno Smith: 2013 Starting QB, 2014 Starting QB
2. Mark Sanchez: 2013 #2 QB, 2014 Will be released ($8.3 M) by Jets (sign with STL)
3. Matt Simms: 2013 #3 QB, 2014 Will be released ($405,000) (signed by GB practice squad)
4. David Garrard: 2013 Emergency QB, 2014 Will be released ($588,235) (brought back as an assistant coach)
1. Chris Ivory: 2013 Starting RB, 2014 Starting RB
2. Bilal Powell: 2013 #2 RB, 2014 #2 RB
3. Mike Goodson: 2013 #3 RB, 2014 Will be released by Jets ($1.3M) (legal situation)
4. Alex Green: 2013 #4 RB, 2014 Practice Squad
5. Darius Reynaud: 2013 #5 RB/#6 WR, 2014 Will be released (($168,235) by Jets (sign with PHI)