The Jets already have a lot of cap space in the 2022 free agency period, but Joe Douglas could create more financial flexibility with a few roster moves.
Douglas insisted to the NFL Combine that he plans to go on the offensive this off-season, which should mean spending money. The Jets also have an arsenal of draft picks, including four from the first 40 selections, that can be used to bring in great young players or trade chips for established veterans.
With the off season kicking into high gear, here are seven moves — and some potential trades — jets can make to increase their cap space.
Per Over the Cap, the Jets have an estimated $48.5 million in the salary cap space before accounting for Nick Bawden, Conor McDermott, Lamarcus Joyner and Will Parks, who all re-signed cheap deals. This number is second only to the Colts.
The current dead cap situation for the Jets is not as bad as last season. New York will pay only $1.475 million, split between just three players: TE Ryan Griffin ($500,000), de Jabari Zuniga ($498,684) and QB James Morgan ($357,362).
Rankins is an excellent locker room mentor and leader on the defensive line, but he didn’t help the Jets much on the production front in 2021. He ended the year with just three sacks, 15 combined tackles and a 46.1 Pro Football Focus grade. Jets can find better or cheaper alternatives elsewhere.
Savings: $5.4 million
Dead Money: $750,000
The Jets need the help of a tight end and nothing more than Griffin has gotten after bringing him back in 2021 after the Precision Cut. He is not a good blocker and has proven to be an inconsistent pass-catcher. New York must look to draft or free agency to upgrade the status.
Savings: $3 million
Dead Money: $186,000
A midseason trade for Laurent DuVernay-Tardiff signaled the move. Van Roten was a major liability on the offensive line when he started and the Jets will save a decent amount of cap space by moving beyond him before the 2022 season.
Savings: $3.5 million
Dead Money: $0
Edoga is another Mike McCagan draft pick that didn’t pan out. He has served primarily as a backup or spot starter since 2019 and should not be in the Jets’ future. Douglas should have found better depth in the position elsewhere.
dead hat: $216,750
Mike LaFleur tries to convert Vesco to a fullback and fails. Now, it’s time to move on from another McKagan pick, who has just five career receptions for 68 yards in 10 games.
dead hat: $176,643
The Jets only activated Perrin for four games last season, which should signal his possible departure ahead of his third NFL campaign. Perrin could turn into a solid backup running back, but it likely won’t be with the Jets.
dead hat: $372,672
Cashman looked like a potential mid-round steal for the Jets as a rookie, but he has only played 14 games in the past three seasons. He has had just seven tackles in the last two seasons and the Jets have moved on from him after drafting and signing other linebackers last season.
dead hat: $76,063
The Jets have several potential business candidates on the roster if Douglas wants to give up some big contracts in exchange for cheaper or younger players. None of these deals are publicly in the rumor mill, but they all seem to have a positive salary cap effect for the Jets that could also give Douglas some sort of return for future investments. If all of these deals were executed before free agency, the Jets would have about $97 million to play with this off-season, to fill other positions in need.
lb cj mosley: $13 million savings | $4.5 million dead cap
OT George Fanta: $10.1 million savings | $1 million dead cap
Conor McGovern: $9 million savings | $1.33 million dead cap
WR Denzel Mims: $726,000 savings | $756,000 dead cap