There’s still so much talk nozzles‘ Fans and mainstream Jets media on what veteran big-name quarterback the team will be getting.
There is one detail that everyone forgets…
The salary cap is the sobering factor for the Jets and their team general manager, Joe Douglas.
Currently, the New York ceiling is in the red.
From now on the jets will be projected $2.7 million over the cap ($2,674,607 to be exact). And yet, is there this mainstream thought process that the Jets will sign a high-priced veteran quarterback?
The rebuttal is that New York can clear the space for the cap, but the question is how?
Aside from restructuring some existing contracts, options are limited.
A total of $3,351,340 is allocated to this next draft class.
There are other problems Douglas faces as well.
Only seven offensive linemen are currently signed for 2023 (four of them are coming off an injury list). There are A total of 24 free agents who were on the team in 2022 who are no longer under contract.
Those positions and needs must take precedence over a high-priced veteran quarterback because without a viable offensive line (and offensive line depth), none of these veteran signal callers would be remotely interested in playing in New York.
Supporting other positions is also important when courting an experienced quarterback. These field generals want to go to places that offer them the best chance of winning a Super Bowl and not end up on a team fighting for last place.
Douglas has allocated big deals to certain veteran players that will severely impact the dead cap space if cut before June 1st. Those veterans are Laken Tomlinson ($12.7M), DJ Reed ($10.5M), and CJ Uzomah ($8.0M).
It’s also not that easy to cut quarterback Zach Wilson when doing so would leave $20,770,856 in dead cap spot this season, or $15,039,823 after June 1st.
Teams typically wait until after June 1 to trim veterans to reduce cap blow, but by then it’s too late to heavily improve the roster, which is the intention. There is an option to designate two players before June 1st as “post-June 1st designations,” which will help teams stay within the salary cap.
The two most likely candidates for that appointment would be linebacker CJ Mosley, who is set to hit a $21.7 million cap ($4,476,000 after June 1 dead money) and offensive tackle Duane Brown (9 million dollars cap hit, $1,576,000 after June 1 dead money). .
Who are some of the current veterans who have low deadweights ahead of June 1st that could cut Douglas (which would have yet to be replaced)?
- DE Carl Lawson ($15M dead cap reached $333,334)
- DE John Franklin-Myers (Dead Cap of $11.4M reached $1.2M)
- WR Corey Davis ($10.5M dead cap reached $666,667)
- S Jordan Whitehead ($6.75 million dead cap reached $2,982,500)
So Douglas could rake in about $62 million by eliminating those six players before June 1, but they’d have to be replaced on the roster, plus there’s still the problem of the current Jets’ offensive line and 24 free agents.
Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr is set to carry a $32.9 million cap in 2023, and signal caller Aaron Rodgers is expected to count $31,623,568 against Green Bay’s cap.
The expected market value of the top free-agent quarterbacks isn’t much better. Tom Brady is expected to have an annual salary of $40.8 million, Lamar Jackson ($40.7 million), Geno Smith ($39.9 million), Jimmy Garoppolo ($34.9 million ), Daniel Jones ($25.5 million) and Taylor Heinicke ($19.8 million).
The 24 free agents the Jets must step down or replace are: (QB) Mike White, (QB) Joe Flacco, (RB) Ty Johnson, (OT) George Fant, (OT) Cedric Ogbuehi, (OT) Mike Remmers , (C) Connor McGovern, (OG) Dan Feeney, (DE) Solomon Thomas, (DE) Vinny Curry, (DE) Nathan Shepherd, (OG) Nate Herbig, (DT) Sheldon Rankins, (K) Greg Zuerlein, ( FS ) LaMarus Joyner, (LB) Kwon Alexander, (LB) Quincy Williams and (LB) Marcell Harris.
The following restricted free agents are to be addressed: (FB) Nick Bawden, (OT) Greg Senate, (WR) Jeff Smith, (WR) Lawrence Cager, (LB) Bryce Huff and (RB) James Robinson.
What does the New York team look like without these 24 players? Who would replace them and what would their caps be?
If they all re-sign, how much of that $62 million would they take (last year those 24 contracts totaled $54,127,176).
That doesn’t leave much money for anything else, let alone a high-priced, top-tier veteran quarterback.
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