As the league year officially turned and John Idzik entered his first
free agency period as Jets general manager, he was expected to take a
Idzik wasn’t expected to pursue this year’s darlings — wide receiver
Mike Wallace, outside linebacker Paul Kruger or defensive end Cliff
Avril. Instead, he has to do more house cleaning and continue searching
for affordable parts.
To that end, Tuesday started with the release of former captain Sione
Po’uha, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who
requested anonymity because the team had not made the move official. The
move saves the Jets roughly $3.8 million against the salary cap.
Then, the Jets decided not to release Santonio Holmes. The troubled
wideout will be on the roster next year, a person with knowledge of
Holmes’ situation said. That person requested anonymity because a formal
announcement had not been made.
Most significantly, though, was what Idzik did not do. In the face of
another report, this time from ProFootballTalk.com suggesting that the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made an offer for Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle
Revis, Idzik held firm. Some thinking surrounding the deal suggests
that if Idzik continues to pass on opportunities now, team cap space
will dry up and those who were interested in obtaining a corner will no
longer have cap space to sign Revis to a suitable extension.
Although dealing him appears the likeliest conclusion, Idzik seems ready to wait.
According to ESPN, Holmes reworked his balky deal, which originally
counted more than $11 million against the salary cap. Though no numbers
are official, the move is expected to bring significant savings.
According to league records, Holmes also reworked his balky deal,
which originally counted more than $11 million against the salary cap in
2013. His base salary will now be $7.5 million, and save the team
roughly $3.5 million in relief this year. Antonio Cromartie similarly
restructured his deal, going from a $7 million base in 2013 to $840,000,
league records show. That move will save about $4 million against the
Idzik also opted not to re-sign Mike DeVito, who left for the Chiefs
on a three-year, $12.6 million deal, according to a person with
knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they are not
authorized to speak for the team. The amount of the deal was thought to
be too much for the Jets to pay.
So it goes for the Jets, typically known for big-time signings and
trades that often define the madness that now accompanies every NFL
offseason. Last year in late March, they acquired Tim Tebow in a deal
that changed the course of the franchise. The summer before, they
snagged Plaxico Burress. At midnight, during coach Rex Ryan’s first free
agency as Jets coach, the team showed up at Bart Scott’s doorstep to
court him away from Baltimore.
This time, the names are a little less worthy of the marquee. Former
Rams wide receiver Brandon Gibson will visit with the team today in
Florham Park, according to one person with knowledge of the situation,
who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for the
team. League records show Gibson had a base salary of $1 million last
year to go along with 51 receptions and five touchdowns.
The Jets are also pursuing Oakland running back Mike Goodson,
according to a person briefed on the team’s plans, who requested
anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for the team. He had a
base salary of $615,000 last year. In a backup role, he netted 221
yards on the ground and 195 yards receiving.
Matt Slauson, the Jets’ starting left guard the past three seasons,
also received a personal phone call from Ryan and new offensive line
coach Mike Devlin.
All of the above signify a more measured, financially conservative approach.
For better or worse, it seems this attitude will bleed over into the
Revis negotiations, too, even though he is not a free agent.
What is known for sure is that the league year has turned and Idzik
is in the spotlight. For now, it doesn’t seem to be affecting him much.