As we head into NFL free agency after the lockout is shortly lifted, there are major concerns the New York Jets will be facing. As to the salary cap, which is projected to be at $120.4 million, the Jets are currently $1.2 million over. That’s not good. However, teams can borrow from future cap space, use exemptions for current players and re-work some existing deals (David Harris and Mark Sanchez). In the Jets case, they should be able to sign a couple of players.
In any case, there are a ton of questions at key positions for the Jets.
1. Wide Receivers.
Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are both expecting Number 1 WR money. If that’s the case, the Jets cannot keep both. The Washington Redskins have already expressed interest in Santonio Holmes. If they Jets cannot resign Holmes, do they try to resign Edwards, or they bring in a completely new team for QB Mark Sanchez?
Antonio Cromartie has already informed the team that he will play for the team that gives him the most money, so expect something in the $7 million range. Do you throw in some more millions and make a run at Nnambi Asomugha, the year’s top free agent? With so many teams that will try for Asomugha, the Jets seem like a longshot, given their already high salary cap.
3. Brad Smith.
Smith, the Jets wildcat option, has received interest already from the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins. He is expecting to get offers at prices above what the Jets can afford, so don’t expect Smith to be a Jet this season. Look for the Dolphins, who face free agency for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, to swipe Smith and use him in their wildcat offense.
4. Special teams
Both kicker Nick Folk and punter Steve Weatherford are free agents. Say what you want about both men, they were solid as Jets last season.