Given the billion dollar industry that Pro Football has become, $4 million does not seem like a lot of money. In terms of structuring offseason plans, it has an impact though. Recently, each NFL team received this amount of additional cap space, as their league number went from an estimated $126 million to $130 million. Some franchises desperately needed such relief, while others simply are adding to their abundance of spending money.
Last offseason, general manager John Idzik’s New York Jets were suffering from lack of flexibility, but they are now n a much better situation. Prior to the league-wide increase, New York was expecting somewhere between $21 million to $23 million in spending money. Gang Green is currently projected to have an upwards of $25 million to $27 million available.
Anticipated cuts of quarterback Mark Sanchez, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and receiver Santonio Holmes should still happen, which would create an additional $26 million. Such transactions could potentially bring their final total between $51 million and $53 million. This seems like a lot of wiggle room, at least on paper, and it is an impressive amount.
It could go away quickly though, so mapping out strategy remains vital. Receiver Eric Decker provides an intriguing option, but his reported desire for $9 million a year could be out of their price range. This becomes especially true if safety Jairus Byrd is a desired target.
Going on spending sprees both in free agency and giving out big in-house deals doomed them before. Former general manager Mike Tannenbaum invested ridiculous amounts of money in players like Sanchez. Overspending cost Gang Green Darrelle Revis, and they should not repeat this with core players such as Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, who will need to be paid in the coming years. Head coach Rex Ryan’s sixth season will be important, but sacrificing the future is not an option.