The New York Jets had their chance to spend big on one player this offseason, but neglected to do so. Will the whole equal the sum of its parts?
While the New York Jets started off free agency with over $40 million dollars, that pile of money has evaporated. However, the interesting diatribe is how did that money evaporate?
It could’ve been gone in one sitting, but instead the Jets opted to go for multiple eggs in their basket. That has resulted in the team having only $9.37 million left, according to NFLPA records.
“The costliest new additions were left tackle Kelvin Beachum ($12 million guarantee) and quarterback Josh McCown ($6 million). While the most expensive keepers were Brian Winters ($15 million) and tackle Ben Ijalana ($3 million). Add in cornerback Morris Claiborne, kicker Chandler Catanzaro, wide receiver Quinton Patton and center Jonotthan Harrison. All for less than the Russell Okung guarantee,” according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.
They could’ve had their big fish (Russell Okung?), but their interest didn’t meet the simple supply and demand in the league. Now it appears the Jets are destined to have their third different starting left tackle in three years, including this upcoming season.
Just because you throw money at a position of need, doesn’t mean the problem will be solved. Although crossing your fingers and hoping an often-injured player (Beachum) or a career backup (Ijalana) can be the answer, seems a bit farfetched.
Ultimately, will their “safer” strategy pay off? We may not know the answer to that question for a few years.
Although on the surface, the move made a ton of sense for this team after purging the roster. They needed starters and with all the guys that were brought in lieu of Okung, it seems like the right choice.
Conversely, great teams are built through the trenches (look at the Dallas Cowboys). Despite talent at other areas on the team, without an offensive line, you aren’t going far (look at the Minnesota Vikings).
They may not have a ton of capital left, but don’t let the mirage of the salary cap fool you. If you take a look, it’s buried under the red “X” on the treasure map.
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It’s an inevitable treasure hunt that simply hasn’t been executed yet due to semantics. But with that being said, it’s only a matter of time before Marcus Gilchrist ($6 million), Eric Decker ($7.25 million), and Sheldon Richardson ($8.1 million) are off the team, one way or another.
That’ll create about $20 million in cap space. While the likelihood of that being spent this offseason is minimal, look for that to rollover to next season for the rainy day fund.