5 roster moves to save the NY Jets $45 million in cap space

NY Jes, Carl Lawson
NY Jes, Carl Lawson / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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3. NY Jets cut Carl Lawson

  • Cap Savings: $15.4 million
  • Dead Cap: $333k

This one hurts the most. I don't want the Jets to cut Carl Lawson. The Jets likely don't want to cut Carl Lawson. Unfortunately, it might be a necessary evil for the team this offseason.

Lawson made a miraculous comeback from multiple Achilles surgeries last year to play all 17 games this season. SNY's Connor Hughes reported last month that Lawson suffered a setback in his initial recovery from an Achilles tear in January of 2022.

The expectation was that Lawson would miss "a chunk" of the 2022 season. He didn't even start running until around a month before the start of training camp in July. Despite this, Lawson started all 17 games for the first time in his career.

Lawson wasn't the dominant force he was in his final year in Cincinnati, nor was he the player the Jets saw in his first summer with the team, but he clearly wasn't 100 percent yet. There's every reason to believe that the 2023 season could finally be Lawson's breakout campaign.

Unfortunately, it might not be with the Jets. Lawson has a cap hit of $15.4 million in 2023, but the Jets can cut him at any time with just over $300,000 in dead cap. The team can create over $15 million in cap space with virtually no penalty.

The Jets love Lawson and believe in his talent, but it's hard to argue he's worth that $15.4 million cap hit right now, especially considering the Jets can basically cut him for free.

I'd love to see the Jets renegotiate a new deal with Lawson, a deal that would add future years while lowering his 2023 cap hit, but it's unclear how interested Lawson would be in such a proposal.

I want Carl Lawson on the Jets' roster in 2023, but $15 million in cap space is too much to pass up here. The Jets can't really afford to bring him back at that number.