Well that season sucked. Coming off a lightning in a bottle (10-6) 2015 campaign there was a mixture of hope and concern taking over Jets circles.
On one side of the fence there was hope. Hope for the polishing of several aspects of the club which would lead to 1-2 more wins and ultimately a playoff appearance.
On the other side was utter despair, to put it lightly. This is the side I chose. Seeing age catching up with key players (looking at you Darrelle Revis) and never fully trusting (or wanting) Fitzpatrick’s one year extension, this season was a living nightmare filled with bad play and multiple 1st Degree felonies.
Time to run through a brief overview of cap moves (made and ones that should be made), free agency moves and what to do in the draft. This is the ultimate Monday morning quarterback guide to turning a franchise in despair around.
Season is over now. Time to make cap room, as the Jets after the season, were over the projected cap.
First move was to cut left tackle Ryan Clady. Clady a one time pro-bowler who was often injured but a force when healthy. The Jets took a shot on him trading a 5th round pick for Clady and a 7th in return. Cutting Clady instantly freed up $10M in cap space.
Nick Folk and Breno Giacomini were next on the chopping block. Cutting these two freed up approximately $9M.
Next was Erin Henderson who was fine I guess? It’s a youth movement and declining his option as well as cutting longtime Jet great Nick Mangold freed approximately $11M.
Finally Revis and Brandon Marshall have both been informed of their impending release. I like the Revis move, absolutely necessary, but I feel like the Jets could have traded him somewhere for a late pick? Maybe they tried and had no offers.
Either way the move frees up another $16M or so in cap space. At this point, the Jets are in complete overhaul and tear-down mode. David Harris, as great as he has been, should be the next to go. Trade him if you can but cut him if you can’t as this move would free up another $6.5M in cap space.
Now that we’ve gotten through that, it’s time to focus on free agency, moving players and preparing for the draft.
First move is to trade Sheldon Richardson and recoup the most/best picks we can. I think signing A.J. Bouye at defensive back would be clutch. He’s only 25, was on a top-5 defense for a team who made the playoffs. He is young, big and athletic and can help anchor the Jets secondary of the future.
The Jets desperately need help on the right side of their offensive line. I think if the price is right, signing a younger tackle or guard like Jordan Mills who has four years experience in several systems and is 26 and will come relatively cheap.
The Jets need placeholders who are around the league average until they can recoup in free agency or in the draft. Outside of this I don’t think many more moves need to be done in free agency. They created a ton of cap room, don’t make the mistake Idzik did and spend just to spend.
Draft time! Number six pick, as of right now a compensatory 3rd round pick, and the Jets will have to see what happens at the top end of this draft.
I think a best player available/needs mentality is ideal but with the caveat that trading back is a necessity to stockpile picks the next few years if you aren’t absolutely in love with any player at your pick.
Often times there is a team looking to move up and I think trading back to the middle of the 1st round, taking the best DB available and getting an extra 3rd/4th round pick this year and maybe a second the next is absolutely in the realm of possibility.
Given the aptitude for people in front offices to panic on draft night anyway anything is possible. If the Jets are offered a comparable trade similar to what the Browns were able to get last year (8th overall pick plus 3rd & 4th in ’16, 1st round pick in ’17, and a 2nd round in ’18) they can’t accept that fast enough. Draft lots of offensive linemen, defensive backs, and wide receivers and maybe a linebacker or two.
These are just my unwanted two cents, but if Woody Johnson asks, I’m available to interview all week.