New York Jets: Wise decision cutting Matt Simms?


On May 28th 2015 the New York Jets released backup quarterback Matt Simms who would later be picked up by the Buffalo Bills.  This move was made after Simms (son of Giants legend Phil Simms) requested the release due to frustration with lack of starts and playing time after two seasons with the Jets.  Was this truly a good move for the Jets?  Let’s look at the the facts surrounding this move and decide.

Let’s look at purely the roster point of view for this move.  Before cutting Simms the Jets had five quarterbacks on the roster.  Last season, when Simms had far less competition for the job, he was only active for one game.  Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Simms was active for one series after Michael Vick went down with an injury.

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This off-season the Jets lost Vick, but added veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, drafted Bryce Petty in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and signed rookie free agent Jake Heaps.  With limited roster spots available and plenty of other talent at quarterback, it didn’t make any sense to keep Simms.  Especially when he didn’t want to stay on the team anyway.

Right now you can have plenty of players on the team, but eventually the roster will have to be trimmed down to 53 players.  Cutting Simms sooner rather than later just makes that decision easier further down the road when the roster will have to be cut down.

Now let’s look at the financial side of this move.  Simms was set to make just over half a million for the 2015 season.  This is pocket change for any NFL franchise so it may not seem like much of a cap save but if the Jets find the right player it could make a huge impact on the season.  Devin McCourty, Dez Bryant, Antoine Winfield, Hakeem Nicks, and Justin Houston are all great examples of players who greatly outplayed a very low contract.

These players all made an average of about two million a year.  That’s more than the $500 thousand that was due to Simms however, that might save the Jets enough to make a trade and take on an extra $400 to $600 thousand in order to add another great piece to the championship puzzle for the upcoming season.  Who could the Jets afford to get with this saved cap space?

Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Matt Simms (5) walks out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Mohamed Sanu could add even more depth at the wide receiver position and make Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker even more effective.  Sanu would cost about $670 thousand a year.  Jordan Reed is another player who could help the offense at the tight end position.  Reed would cost about $690 thousand a year.  T.J. Clemmings could add depth on the offensive line to help keep whoever is in the backfield safe and on their feet.  Clemmings would cost right around $700 thousand a year.

Lavonte David is a very interesting possibility as well.  He would cost $899 thousand per year but could greatly improve the Jets’ linebacker corps and would be worth a trade if it could be pulled off.  Obviously the Jets would have to give up a little bit to get these players but the money they saved cutting Simms would help in making securing a player like this easier.

Usually it would be difficult to say this early on if it was a good decision or not to cut Simms.  However, with the depth and talent already on the roster at the quarterback position, the limited roster spots, and the possibility of adding new talent with the money saved from cutting Simms, it can already be considered a good move for the Jets.

Next: New York Jets: A team in transition for 2015

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