Nick Folk was hoping to get a long-term deal done this offseason, with a significant raise, after playing through four one-season deals. The Jets decided to compromise by placing the franchise tag on the kicker dubbed, “Folk Hero.”
Folk won’t get the long-term security he was hoping for, unless the two sides can agree on a contract before July 15, but he certainly got himself a pay raise. After making $780,000 last season Folk will now earn $3.556 million this oncoming season thanks to the designation of the franchise tag.
Since Folk has been a Jet the team has brought in competition for the kicker job every offseason as Folk was forced to prove himself on a series of one-year deals. Unless the two sides agree on a contract extension Folk will once again be working on a one-year deal, but at $3.556 million it’s hard to imagine Folk complaining.
The Jets will still bring in an extra leg for training camp and preseason, but barring injury or a complete mental breakdown Folk will be the kicker for the Jets 2014 season. After completing 33 of 36 field goals last season Folk finally proved his value to the Jets and they have rewarded him, albeit a short-term reward as team’s don’t like to tie themselves up with long contracts for kickers.
The fact that John Idzik felt comfortable using the franchise tag on a kicker illustrates just how much money the Jets will have to spend in free agency. Once the contracts of Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and possibly others get reworked or taken completely off the books the Jets will be anywhere from $40-50 million under the salary cap. In which case spending $3.556 million of that on a kicker won’t prevent them from making any other signings their heart desires.