Monday morning was Trumaine Johnson Day as the New York Jets saw $11M of the often-maligned former cornerback’s salary come off their books. Now, the Jets have around $25M in salary cap space. This poses the question: will the Jets spend or will they not spend and save that cash for the next free agency instead?
Of all the swings and misses in the Mike Macagnan Era, this was certainly the biggest swing and miss of them all. https://t.co/FggEXzZE9C
— Downtown Jets (@DowntownJets) June 1, 2020
Arguments for the Jets to Spend
The Jets still have holes to fill, especially at Edge, offensive line, and cornerback. But they have the cash to still make improvements. (You can find an extended write up on that column here.)
Two notable free agents remaining on the market at Edge are Jadeveon Clowney and Markus Golden. Clowney has a history of injury and Golden has never been apart from defensive coordinator James Betcher. On the offensive line, Larry Warford is the only notable free agent who remains available. At cornerback, Logan Ryan is still available. Given other teams also have that need (calling the Giants and Redskins), his asking price is high. With the additional cap room, though, the Jets can swing the cash. The Jets also need some additional help at wide receiver, but the market is very thin. One high profile name is Antonio Brown, but the NFL is still investigating an accusation of sexual assault by a trainer while at Central Michigan. Having an elite talent like AB would have the New York media ablaze. General manager Joe Douglas’ M.O. this off-season has been either signing or drafting low drama-high character players, so this will never happen.
One very notable thing the Jets can do if they do spend some of that cash is to extend the contract of safety Jamal Adams. The Jets exercised the fifth-year option on Adams’ rookie contract, but the two sides – at least according to the NYC sports media – are at odds on a further extension. Adams has repeatedly stated that he wants to stay a Jet. However, he has a deep attachment to his hometown of Lewisville, TX and there are countless rumors of him being traded to Dallas. Rather than go into more detail, I’ll just point you here to a column covering that by fellow DTJ columnist Dan Goldstein.
Arguments for the Jets to Not Spend
The Jets are in a peculiar spot financially. They have $25M to spend this season and different spots to fill. But what if they stand pat and don’t spend? If the Jets don’t spend that money this season, they can extend Adams and Sam Darnold. The free agency class of 2021 is also scary good. Below is a list of players who could potentially be available in 2021:
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- Chris Godwin
- Kenny Golladay
- David Bakhtiari
- Joe Thuney
- Joey Bosa
- Shaq Barrett
- Melvin Ingram
This is an impressive group of free agents entering the 2021 free agency period, especially in spots with the biggest need. The two names to watch are Bosa and Ingram. It’s going to be very captivating to see which member of this pass-rushing duo the Los Angeles Chargers will retain. If one has a franchise tag placed on them, the other might leave. With the Jets looking to improve an anemic pass rush, it might be worth their while to sign either Bosa or Ingram. The greatest danger for the Jets is overspending, which is what previous front office regimes did.
Whether the Jets spend or not spend is up in the air, but it’s nice to see that the Jets finally have some options.
- Hey Jamal: Grow Up! - June 22, 2020
- Downtown Jets: To Spend or Not to Spend - June 4, 2020
- Why Sam Darnold Will be the Best Quarterback in the AFC East - May 23, 2020