The NY Jets are expected to be much more active in free agency this offseason than they were a year ago. And with nearly $70 million in cap space before roster cuts, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve the team in free agency.
On Thursday, the NFL informed teams that the salary cap floor has been increased from $175 million to $180 million. That $180 million number isn’t official, but the NFL has determined that the cap won’t fall below that figure.
That said, the salary cap is still expected to fall for just the second time in NFL history. It’s widely expected that last year’s cap of just south of $200 million will decrease to somewhere around $180 million this offseason.
While that’s still better than the previous floor of $175 million, it still represents a near-$20 million decrease. Something that will harm a variety of teams across the league.
But what does this latest news mean for the Jets?
What does the new salary cap floor mean for the NY Jets?
At the moment, the Jets are projected to have right around $68 million in cap space, assuming a salary cap of just north of $180 million, per Overthecap.com. That places them third in the league behind the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts.
However, that cap space is expected to rise once roster cuts take place.
Cutting Henry Anderson, for example, would free up over $8 million in cap space with only a small dead cap charge. You could pretty much guarantee that’s a move the Jets will be making.
Cutting backup tight end Ryan Griffin would also save the Jets close to $2 million in cap space and the team could save some money by cutting ties with either Alex Lewis or Greg Van Roten — or both of them.
Assuming they cut the likes of Anderson, Griffin, and Lewis, they’d be projected to have over $80 million in cap space.
Other less likely cut candidates are guys like Jamison Crowder and George Fant. The Jets could theoretically save quite a bit of money moving on from both, but would need plans to replace them.
The increase in the salary cap floor, however, could be seen as a negative for the Jets. The higher the cap is, the less of an advantage the Jets have over other teams that are more strapped for cap space.
Expect a lot of one-year deals or multi-year deals with backloaded contracts as a result. But for teams like the New Orleans Saints or nearly half the NFL that is over the cap at the moment, the rise in the cap floor can only be seen as a good thing.
The Jets will have a ton of cap space no matter what happens. But now, they’re set to have a little more than expected.