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New York Jets: Justin Houston Signs in Mock 2015 Off-Season

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Jul 28, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan (center) talks with his team following the end of practice during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

I went on a great website called Fanspeak which lets you play virtual general manager and do a mock off-season (draft not included). First you decide who to cut, then who to re-sign, and finally on to free agency. You have to make offers to free agents and the players decide to accept or decline, with website making the players decisions, as well as the decisions for the 31 other teams.  I went ahead and gave it a try for our Jets, and here is what I came up with:

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Next: Cuts

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin (16) on the sideline during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Jets won 16-11. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Cuts

WR Percy Harvin $10.5 million in cap savings

OLB Calvin Pace $2.125 million in cap savings

RB Chris Johnson $3.75 million in cap savings

Total remaining cap $65,565,074 (all numbers via overthecap.com)

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Next: Re-Signings

Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) laughs on the sideline during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Re-signings

DE Muhammad Wilkerson $10 million per year for five years ($25 million guaranteed)

WR Percy Harvin $7 million per year for four years (16.8 million guaranteed) – done 5/2 to avoid giving 4th round pick

Leger Douzable $2.5 million per year for two years ($4 million guaranteed)

Kenrick Ellis $2 million per year for three years ($3 million guaranteed)

Bilal Powell $1.5 million per year for three years ($3 million guaranteed)

John Conner $1 million per year for one year ($1 million guaranteed)

Nick Bellore $1 million per year for one year

Tanner Purdum $900,000 per year for one year

Cap Room Remaining $42.5 million

Next: Free Agency

January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) runs the ball against the defense of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) during the first half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agency

OLB Justin Houston $12 million per year for four years ($24 million guaranteed)

CB Byron Maxwell $7 million per year for four years ($14 million guaranteed)

T Brian Bulaga $6.5 million per year for four years ($15 million guaranteed)

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick $5 million per year for two years ($5 million guaranteed)

S Louis Delmas $5 million per year for three years ($7.5 million guaranteed)

WR Cecil Shorts III $4.5 million per year for four years ($9 million guaranteed)

TE Jermaine Gresham $4 million per year for three years ($6 million guaranteed)

TE Lee Smith $1.5 million per year for two years ($1.5 million guaranteed)

Total Cap Room Remaining $9,465,074 plus $5 million held for draft picks

Next: Analysis

Jan 24, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) and Houston Texans tackle Duane Brown (76) at Team Carter practice for the 2015 Pro Bowl at Scottsdale Community College. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In this scenario the Jets become very aggressive and look to fill their roster holes rather quickly through free agency but first they take care of their own. They reward Muhammad Wilkerson with a mega-contract that he deserves but don’t vastly overpay based on his market value. Percy Harvin getting half of his money guaranteed should be enough to entice him to agree to $7 million a year. They are also able to get Powell, Douzable, and Ellis to all come back at relatively discount prices. Special teams standouts John Conner, Tanner Purdum and Nick Bellore all come back as well.

On defense, the Jets pay big money to bring in NFL sack leader Justin Houston for $12 million per year. The answer at cornerback is Byron Maxwell of the Seahawks who will be paired with a draft pick, Dee Milliner, Marcus Williams and Dexter McDougle to form a decent secondary. The signing of Louis Delmas brings a legitimate center fielder to the safety position allowing, Calvin Pryor to play up near the line.

To shore up the offense, Brian Bulaga comes over from the Packers to take over at right tackle while Breno Giacomini is kicked inside to right guard. Ryan Fitzpatrick had success in Chan Gailey’s offense in Buffalo and will come in to push Geno Smith and a draft pick. Getting Cecil Shorts III for $4.5 million per year is a steal as he just knows how to get open and has had success while playing for poor quarterbacks. Jermaine Gresham is a good blocking tight end that can catch too and should free up Jace Amaro to take advantage of good matchups in the passing game. Lee Smith is a blocking tight end that used to play for Gailey in Buffalo and can act as an extra lineman on running plays.

In reality, I don’t think the Jets will quite splurge this much in free agency but I turned into a fan in the bidding process and went a bit nuts. With this scenario in the draft, I would look for the Jets to go after Shaq Thompson of UCLA, a well-rounded linebacker in round one. They would also look to draft an inside linebacker, a developmental quarterback, a speed running back with good hands and some linemen.

Next: New York Jets 2015 Running Back Situation

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