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Jets Should Emulate Colts And Dolphins


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We often hear the Jets should try to emulate successful organizations around the NFL, Packers, Giants, Steelers, and Patriots when it comes to building their team.  It makes sense to look at other franchises building strategies but doesn’t mean they need to copy others to have positive results.  Maybe just this year the Jets should duplicate the philosophy of two organizations, the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins, as both teams had poor 2011 seasons and decided to set up their finances for the long-term in 2012.

The Colts had a $90 million payroll last year, while the Jets spent $121 million, and finished 11-5 making the playoffs.  Yes 2012 first overall pick quarterback Andrew Luck helped but they purged their roster having almost $39 million in “dead money” salary which counts on a team’s cap for players no longer there.

The Dolphins had a similar purging as receiver Brandon Marshall was traded to the Chicago Bears for a pair of third round draft picks (2012-13) and cornerback Vontae Davis was sent to the Colts for a 2013 second round pick.  They also released offensive linemen Vernon Carey and safety Yeremiah Bell, who ended up a Jet, leaving the Dolphins with $13 million in dead money on the 2012 books.  The team did finish with a 7-9 record but broke in a rookie quarterback and coach while looking far more competitive than they did the season before starting 0-7.

The benefit of using this strategy has been the salary cap space these two teams now have heading into 2013, $44 million (Dolphins) and $43 million (Colts).  By clearing out salary from high priced veterans while acquiring draft picks, whether by trade or potential compensatory picks via the NFL, they have set themselves up for the long-term at least in a financial sense.

These organizations will still have to make smart personnel moves as just having your finances in order does not guarantee success, see the Cleveland Browns $45 million in 2013 cap space, but financial flexibility allows a team options to retain players they want and acquire players they need.

The Jets built in an aggressive manner over the past few years signing free agents, trading draft picks for players who required large contracts and often trading up in drafts to obtain more ready-made players rather than developmental ones.

This aggressive philosophy has left the Jets $23 million over the 2013 salary cap.  They can release some players out of their contracts to improve the overall cap situation, Calvin Pace $8.56 (in millions), Bart Scott $7.15, Jason Smith $12.0, Tim Tebow $1.055, and Eric Smith $3.0, Sione Po’uha $3.835, total $35.6 million, but even after you save this salary the team will not have much space for free agency.

The Jets will likely tender two current restricted free agents, offensive tackle Austin Howard and tight end Jeff Cumberland, costing $2.65 million and replacing the other four roster spots will be $1.6 million at minimum.  So the Jets $23 million over, minus $35.6 puts them $12.6 million under, then add the 6 new players salaries $4.25 million and the Jets end up $8.35 million under the salary cap after these likely moves.

Thinking long term the team will need about $2.5 million in cap space for the 2013 draft class and another $1.5 million when the season starts as only 51 players count on your salary cap during the off-season while 53 and the practice squad salaries count during the year.  That leaves about $4 million to spend on free agents.

Of course there are many ways to restructure contracts to create cap space.  Just look at the wonderful contract extension the Jets gave Mark Sanchez that saved $6.4 million on the 2012 cap, which the team is now choking on.  The Jets need to “bite the bullet” for their lack of financial discipline and hold money in 2013 grabbing control of these high priced player’s contracts and open up cap room for the future.  How about being $10-15 million under the cap before the start of a new league year instead of $20 million over?

The Jets don’t need to completely gut the team instead take a fiscally responsible approach as artificially creating cap space in a “Sanchez like manner” will only lead to year-in year-out financial issues.  Simple pushing money forward, worrying about it later, is not currently a prudent choice but getting younger, cheaper and hungry players, underpaid overachievers rather than overpaid underachieves, will actually provide better results this season and stability moving forward, just look at the Colts and Dolphins.  Bet the fans of those two teams thought they’d be terrible give the difficult decisions made but now their futures are bright.

If Mark Sanchez and Darrelle Revis move on after the 2013 season, assuming Revis is not traded before June 1st, the Jets will be looking at $13.8 million in dead money putting the team behind before next season even starts.  This is only one of many reasons why the Jets need to start cleaning their finances now.

There is no one strategy which guarantees success otherwise certain team won’t be consistent winners while others struggle but it will be up to general manager John Idzik to have a budget, stick to it and make tough long-run financial decisions.  Hopefully through Idzik’s leadership the Jets will regain control of their finances allowing the flexibility to build a long-term winner.

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Posted · Report post

I thought we did emulate the Dolphins by sucking

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Jets >>>>>> Miami and the Colts are an Illuminati franchise gifted two straight super elite QB prospects.

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I thought we did emulate the Dolphins by sucking

Pretty much

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I thought we did emulate the Dolphins by sucking

Or going completely finocchio.

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The Colt referance is BS, they tanked the season and where gifted an Elite QB again.

Outside Broadway and Kenny'O for a couple of years the Jets have never had a real QB.

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The Colt referance is BS, they tanked the season and where gifted an Elite QB again.

Outside Broadway and Kenny'O for a couple of years the Jets have never had a real QB.

Who's fault is that?

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The Colt referance is BS, they tanked the season and where gifted an Elite QB again.

Outside Broadway and Kenny'O for a couple of years the Jets have never had a real QB.

Who's fault is that?

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they have no choice. this will be a rough year. maybe 2 rough years

and I prefer the seahawks as a model :)

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I'm with that. Tank 2013, let the contracts implode the team for a year, then hope the Next Great QB emerges in the next two years and the Jets are in position to pick him. The worst thing in the world that can happen to this franchise is that they squeeze out eight wins next year and Idzik actually has to spend time thinking about not firing Rex.

Despite any promise Rex may have shown at one time, his act has run its course here and he's lost the team twice in two years. He won't be the albatross that kills Idzik. That'll be Woody Johnson.

Edited by T0mShane
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they have no choice. this will be a rough year. maybe 2 rough years

and I prefer the seahawks as a model :)

So negative. So cold.

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I'm with that. Tank 2013, let the contracts implode the team for a year, then hope the Next Great QB emerges in the next two years and the Jets are in position to pick him. The worst thing in the world that can happen to this franchise is that they squeeze out eight wins next year and Idzik actually has to spend time thinking about not firing Rex.

Despite any promise Rex may have shown at one time, his act has run its course here and he's lost the team twice in two years. He won't be the albatross that kills Idzik. That'll be Woody Johnson.

Woody is like an undersized gonad , he gets attention just from being a useless nut.

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Take the cap hits now instead of later does not fly to try to totally rebuild in big media market like newYork/Jersey

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Why , either team had done much in the last 10 years , 1 super bowl between both teams , Jets need to find a QB like the PATS to lead the team and everything will work out fine , we can only hope

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Why , either team had done much in the last 10 years , 1 super bowl between both teams , Jets need to find a QB like the PATS to lead the team and everything will work out fine , we can only hope

Need a better QB than the Pats, unfortunately they made some bullsh*t rule about not stealing the defensive plays pre snap.

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Need a better QB than the Pats, unfortunately they made some bullsh*t rule about not stealing the defensive plays pre snap.

maybe you are right but the PATS QB is one of the best ever and if you take him off the Pats they are like every other team , like the Jets , the Jets had not had a top 5 QB ever and I would be nice to have one

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The Colt referance is BS, they tanked the season and where gifted an Elite QB again.

Outside Broadway and Kenny'O for a couple of years the Jets have never had a real QB.

One genetic freak known as Vincenzo Testaverde reads this and prepares to throw a ball through your home.

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Maybe baby Crusher can change positions and become next Jet QB

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Colts and Dolphins? Head stretcher. Those teams have the cap space they have due to key high price players leaving their team. Once the Dolphins sign back Long ($9 mil), Smith ($8 mil) then other guys like Randy Starks and free agents like Greg Jennings or Wallace and Finley (soon to be). They'll be in a position to not make much moves next off-season. Colts on the other hand have key players locked but those guys are soon to regress while key players hit the market next season. The also pull a Tanny and trade a 2nd for Davis.

 

As for the Jets we can trade Cro for picks and accumulate $8.5 mil is cap space. Same thing is in place for Holmes contract but his value is as low to none as of now. If Mark wasn't extended we would simply be in good shape.

 

 

Take the cap hits now instead of later does not fly to try to totally rebuild in big media market like newYork/Jersey

 

Doesn't make much sense to do so as cutting them will place us is worst shape. I'll rather have Holmes on the team andpossibly cut him next year for a penalty just over one million then cut him now, still pay him and just to circumvent having a million dollar penalty to deal with. Also I want to retool not rebuild.

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Really the teams to be emulating are teams like the Eagles. Teams like the Colts and Dolphins who essentially decided to throw seasons away (in Miamis case its more mismanagement and an owner that doesnt seem to want to spend) are not really a model. I want to be a proactive football team. In some ways the Jets are that but their financial management and personnel evaluation clashed and rendered the contract structures of these players irrelevant. I look at the Eagles as a team that was able to roll over millions of dollars to be well under the salary cap despite fielding what was on paper a loaded roster as being impressive. Their decision to waive Jason Babin as a cap dump was pure genius. Why the Jets did not do the same with Tim Tebow, Bart Scott, or Calvin Pace is beyond me. Even the Bucs made some late season moves that were proactive planning for going spending in 2013. Refusing to extend your LT or anyone else and trading a headcase WR  isnt what I would call a good model. I mean this is a team that franchised Paul Soliai and then a year later struck up a deal that for two years did not equal the tag. Thats incredibly horrible management.

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It'd be kinda cool if the Jets gave Jason a job.

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It'd be kinda cool if the Jets gave Jason a job.

 

And ruin their streak of hiring incompetent nitwits? not likely

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And ruin their streak of hiring incompetent nitwits? not likely

They could compensate by giving you and me jobs as SafeRides drivers.

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Colts were lucky and bad at the right time.   If Manning comes out a year before, the Jets probably take him.  Colts wind up with who?  Ryan Leaf.   

Similar with Luck.  If Luck came out a year before, Carolina or Denver take him and the entire draft changes.  Newton and Luck are tied,  Von Miller goes to somebody else.    But Luck stayed an extra year and it is what it is.   

 

 This is why the "tank 2013" theory just doesn't work.  Lets say Johnny Football is the QB everybody wants and puts up another monster year.  The Jets stink and get the #1 pick.   They love him. Want him.   Except he decides to go back to college.   Jets have to find somebody else and there might be others, but really,   Luck, Manning, etc are once a generation kind of QBs.      It's not like they become available every other year.   Other players like Rodgers, Wilson, Favre, etc are guys who were great, but nobody knew they would be as great as they were going to be.   Favre was traded away.   Rodgers sat for 3 years.    Wilson was a 3rd round pick nobody really heard of.    RG3 came out of nowhere to have one hell of a season.  But he wasn't on anybodies #1 pick list before his heisman.

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