The New York Jets are entering an interesting off season, a dawn of a new Jet age if you will. Some will say this new time started before last season, when the Jets hired John Idzik to run the front office. However, Idzik had his hands tied with flipping the bill for the former GM’s win now pay later attitude, and was therefore limited in the level of talent he could bring in. Fast forward to this off-season and things are looking a bit different, there is the potential to clear up a lot of cap space but some players are going to have to go. So who will be out the door before the start of the 2014 season, lets take a look.
Mark Sanchez: His play has been in decline, and he missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury. Sanchez’s cap hit in 2014 is at a whopping 13.1 million. Whether or not Sanchez could beat out Geno Smith in a QB competition is a different discussion, but if it’s any where close (with Geno Smith arguably having more room to grow) why not go with the guy who will cost you 1/20th the price. If Mark Sanchez would restructure his contract to something reasonable, we could keep him and see who the better QB is but if he is cut the team will have an additional 11.5 million in cap space to work with.
Antonio Cromartie: Whether or not the hip injury is what held him back, Cromartie is coming off an abysmal season. Cro was flat out embarrassed at times (especially when he fell down on plays) and his solid performance from the season before seems like ancient history at this point. Cromartie will count almost 15 million against next years cap, and judging by the way he played last season it wont be too hard to find a better cornerback for cheaper, whether it be through the draft or free agency. The downside to this is although the Jets would gain 9.5 million in cap space, there would be almost 5.5 million in dead money.
Santonio Holmes: Holmes was once an exciting Jet to watch, and was one of the Jets most reliable offensive weapons. However, in recent years he has struggled with health issues and has had trouble staying on the field, and he is not getting any younger. With a cap hit next year of 10.75 million in might be time for the Jets and Holmes to part ways. Although it won’t be easy to find quality receiving talent, there is more than ample opportunity in both the draft and free agency, which the Jets could make a splash in with the 9.5 million the Jets would save but cutting Holmes.
There you have it, three names that will likely have to take massive pay cuts in order to stay on the Jets roster next season, or risk getting cut. According to Overthecap.com next years projected salary cap for the Jets is at $128, 320,437. The above three players if kept will count a total of $38,830,000, or roughly 30 percent of the Jets total cap next year. If these players are cut the Jets would save 30.5 million bringing the Jets total cap room to just over 50 million, with other avenues to cut the budget still available. I say take the money and run