Ok, it’s not Christmas, and it’s not opening day, but for some reason the start of free agency and the beginning of the new NFL calendar year feels like the most wonderful time of the year. All the hope, expectation, and bad feelings of the previous year are washed away. For the Jets in particular, it’s a time of upheaval and a renewal of high expectations.
I’m going to get right down to it. These are the positives in my book.
Santonio Holmes reportedly just restructured his deal, and Darrelle Revis is reportedly close to being traded. While many might not like this at all I’m going to give you my take on it. The Jets were at their best in 2010 when Sanchez was throwing to Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller. It looks like it’s possible that the stability that hasn’t been there could be returning with a receiving corps of Edwards, Holmes, Hill,Kerley, and hopefully a re-signed Keller. This in my mind is the best thing that could happen to the passing game that was woefully lacking last year with players like Mardy Gilyard, Clyde Gates, and Jason Hill getting extended playing time to go along with Jeff Cumberland. It still irks me that people rag on Sanchez given the pedestrian group he had to work with all year.
Next up is the Revis speculation. I’m one of the minority that has been saying since his second hold out that he might be headed for a break up, and it might be good to get what you can for him, because he’s always put money above the team. While I would never say he’s not a great player, I don’t think you pay cornerbacks anywhere near $100 million. If the rumors are true and he is traded great, get some compensation, and move on at a lower price. If the rumors are false, that’s great too, I hope they can sign him to a reasonable deal, and he finishes his career as a Jet. As Nnamdi Asomugha, and Champ Bailey proved before him however, it’s extremely hard to play at a high level year after year at the CB position with so many athletic and young receivers coming into the league annually.
This could potentially leave the Jets with by my rough estimate somewhere around $12 million in cap space. How I came to that conclusion is completely scattershot. I guessed around $8 million currently, add in a Holmes restructuring, and potentially a Revis trade. I headed over to New York Jets Cap and checked out Revis current contract and cap numbers, and though I’m no capologist, I guessed that if he is traded, a new deal, and/or deferment of this roster and pro-rated bonuses would be paid by the team he is dealt to. This would leave the Jets around $12 -$13 million under the cap. It’s just a guess, and I have no way to be sure.
Assuming this is the last move, my next guess would be that New York and GM Idzik will wait until this initial first few days of free agency has subsided. Usually if you wait a week or two, the prices on free agents drop drastically, because the players no longer hold the leverage. There are fewer starting spots on teams, and the GM’s can dictate the salaries of the contracts because they are no longer bidding against multiple teams. The downside is that you will lose out on a lot of quality players that will be signed in the initial week, but the positive side is that you can get a few steals for a fraction of what they would have been signed to earlier in free agency. If you throw in the NFL draft, the player salary rate depreciates even more following the draft because of the influx of 200+ new players with nearly half of those getting starting jobs by my assumption.