How NY Jets can create more cap space entering free agency

How can the Jets create cap space?
Joe Douglas
Joe Douglas / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The NY Jets have already begun the process of creating cap space ahead of what's expected to be a crucial offseason for the organization. There is still some work to be done, however.

The Jets parted ways with starting left guard Laken Tomlinson and veteran tight end C.J. Uzomah over the last two weeks, freeing up over $13 million in the process.

Those two moves bring the Jets to over $25 million in cap space, but with a number of pressing roster needs to address and limited resources, that likely isn't going to be enough.

The good news is that the Jets have plenty of financial flexibility to create even more savings over the coming days. From additional roster cuts to restructures, here is how the Jets can create more cap space before free agency next week.

Moves the NY Jets can make to save cap space

While the Jets can still free up cap space by releasing players, there are no more obvious cut candidates on the roster. From a financial standpoint, the only players who could fit that role are C.J. Mosley, John Franklin-Myers, and Tyler Conklin. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which any of them are released, however.

Mosley is the captain of the Jets' defense, and despite his high cap hit, it just wouldn't make sense to move on from him in a must-win, all-in 2024 season. The same goes for Franklin-Myers and Conklin, who are both important parts of their respective units.

The most likely scenario with all three is a restructure. The Jets would create $10.53 million, $9.21 million, and $3.92 million by restructuring the contracts of Mosley, Franklin-Myers, and Conklin, respectively. That's a total savings of over $23 million — nearly doubling the Jets' current cap space.

Other possible restructure candidates include Quinnen Williams ($10.62 million in savings) and Allen Lazard ($6.66 million in savings), although the latter would make it much more painful to move on after the 2024 season. If the Jets plan to release Lazard next offseason, it might be in their best interest to forgo a restructure.

Restructures aren't the only way the Jets can create cap space, though. The team could also explore extensions for a host of players entering the final year of their contracts.

The two most appealing extension candidates are the aforementioned Conklin and cornerback D.J. Reed. Both players will be free agents after the 2024 season and have earned new contracts. Extending them now would not only lock them up long-term, but it would also lower their 2024 cap hits.

The Jets could also save money if they find a trade partner for quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson is set to carry a cap hit of over $11 million in 2024, but the Jets can up to $5.45 million if they find a taker for his salary — although that might be harder than expected.

Ultimately, the Jets can very easily double their cap space with a few moves before free agency starts in a few days. That might come at the cost of future cap space, but the current Jets regime isn't particularly concerned about that.