4. Re-structure D’Brickashaw Ferguson
Speaking of D’Brick, he’s 32 years old, heading into his 11th NFL season and is scheduled to earn $14.1 million in 2016. For a 32-year-old offensive lineman to earn this much money on an annual basis in today’s NFL, he better be in the top five at his position.
There was a time when Ferguson was a top five left tackle in the NFL, but that time has passed. In 2015, Ferguson ranked just seven spots higher than his fellow offensive tackle Giacomini, coming in at number 62 out of 76 total tackles.
Unlike Giacomini however, Ferguson is one of the leaders of this team and as a result, he’s earned the right to re-work his contract and retain a roster spot for at least one more season.
If the Jets can get D’Brick to cut his $14.1 million 2016 salary in half, they’d be gaining $7 million more in cap space to dedicate towards re-signing Fitzpatrick and Harrison, who are by far this team’s top priority free agents behind Muhammad Wilkerson.
Keeping a veteran leader like Ferguson on the roster for another year also gives whichever young offensive lineman this team drafts in April a mentor to learn from.