The New York Jets have a lot of work to do to free-up cap room, but this week they were able to restructure left guard James Carpenter’s contract.
The Jets, hurting for cap space this off-season, were in an immediate need so they could finalize a contract with defensive tackle Steve McLendon whose deal is for three years, $10.5 million. The former Pittsburgh Steeler agreed to finalize a deal with the Jets one week ago.
The Jets were able to free up $2.46 million in salary-cap room by restructuring the contract of Carpenter, the starting left guard on their offensive line, as reported by ESPN.com reporter Field Yates below via Twitter. New York was able to convert $3.69 million of his $4.45 million base salary into a signing bonus, which lowered his base salary to $760,000.
Source: the Jets converted $3.69M of G James Carpenter's $4.45M base salary in 2016 into a signing bonus, creating $2.46M in cap space.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 23, 2016
The restructured deal does increase his cap number to $6.76 million for 2017 and 2018, which is an increase of $1.23 million. Carpenter will be heading into his second season with the team and is coming off of a very strong season in 2015.
This was a smart move for the Jets as Carpenter is only 27-years-old and will most likely be the anchor of their offensive line moving forward in the Todd Bowles/Mike Maccagnan era. Youth on the offensive line is the biggest need for the Jets heading into the 2016 season and beyond.
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It is excellent to hear that Carpenter and the Jets were able to re-work his contract.
Now it’s time for D’Brickashaw Ferguson to step up as a leader of this team and help out by taking a pay cut.
The Jets could restructure his deal, but Ferguson’s contract is worth far too much at this point and moving money to his final season under his current deal is not be worth doing at this point in his career.
The Jets still have a lot of work to do under the salary cap to make room for the remainder of the offseason. They are still sitting on a two-year, $7 million deal with Jarvis Jenkins and also need to think about signing Ryan Fitzpatrick or another quarterback if they cannot reach an agreement with him, draft picks and possibly a couple other role players they may have on their radar.