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Jets 2020 salary cap breakdown. How much money does JD have to work with entering free agency,NFL Draft?

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Jets’ 2020 salary cap breakdown: How much money does Joe Douglas have to work with entering free agency, NFL Draft?

Updated 5:53 AM;Today 5:39 AM 
 
 
 
 

It’s Joe Douglas’ time to shine.

The Jets’ first-year general manager said last week that being hired in June, at an unconventional time, has been a net-positive for him. He feels he’s been able to institute his philosophies and principles and really prepare for this offseason, which will mark his first time ever running the show during free agency and the NFL Draft.

Clearly, after the Jets’ 7-9 season, Douglas has plenty of work to do in order to make this team a real contender, too.

But what kind of resources will Douglas have to reshape the roster this spring? We already know he’s scheduled to have seven picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. But how much salary cap space will he have at his disposal, in order to make some other (much needed) splashy moves?

 

Obviously, plenty of things can change between now and the start of free agency. But here’s a slightly early look at the Jets’ salary cap situation for next season and how Douglas could manipulate it in his favor:

What will NFL salary cap be in 2020?

We don’t know the final answer to that question quite yet; the 2019 salary cap wasn’t officially set until the beginning of March. That said, we do know that it will be somewhere in the range of $196.8 million to $201.2 million, based on the league’s early estimates. For perspective, the 2019 cap was $188.2 million, up from $177.2 million in 2018. The cap has gone up by at least $10 million in six straight years, too. But, for the purposes of this projection, we’ll be using spotrac.com’s current projection of a $199 million salary cap.

How much cap room do Jets currently have?

Based on that $199 million cap estimate, the Jets currently have $65.3 million free to spend for 2020, which includes the nearly $14 million of unused 2019 cap space that the team can roll over into next season. Effectively, the Jets’ 2020 salary cap is $213 million (thanks to that rollover bump) and the team is currently on the hook for $147.66 million in contracts to their 51 highest-paid players (which are the contracts that count toward the salary cap).

Where does that rank among other NFL teams?

The Jets’ currently rank 10th in available 2020 salary cap space. The Colts rank first with $96.46 million available. Three teams have at least $90 million to spend and five teams have more than $80 million to play with.

How much dead cap space do Jets have in 2020? 

The Jets are on the hook for just $1.02 million in dead money next season, though that figure is almost certain to increase (more on that a bit later). The current dead money figure is mostly the result of cutting 2019 third-round pick Jachai Polite last summer. He will eat up $841,854 on the books in 2020.

How many players are currently under contract for 2020?

Fifty-three. That sounds like a big number, given the NFL roster limit is 53 players. But remember: Teams can roster up to 90 players during the offseason, so the Jets are bound to sign a lot more players. Only the top 51 will count toward the salary cap, but a chunk of the Jets’ offseason signings are bound to be more costly than some of the guys currently on the books. Right now, just 17 Jets have a cap hit over $1 million in 2020. Douglas is bound to sign a handful of starters and even decently paid backups who crack that figure and push some of the players who are on league-minimum deals – which are currently being counted toward the cap – outside the top 51, inflating that figure.

For some perspective, nine teams have more than 53 players signed right now. All but two of them have higher top-51 cap figures than the Jets.

Is there any way for the Jets to clear more cap space?

Yes, definitely. Douglas could always restructure contracts and move money around within current players’ deals in order to free up a handful of dollars here and there. But the easiest – and most significant – way to free up cap space would be by making roster cuts. There’s also one marquee trade he could make that might free up some space. Here are some of the prime candidates for those moves, based on how their contracts are structured:

 RB Le’Veon Bell: This is the one trade option on this list. Bell carries a $15.5 million cap hit in 2020, but would only cost the Jets $6 million in dead money (thanks to his relatively small signing bonus) if Douglas traded him. So, that’d be a potential savings of $9.5 million. In practice, though, it likely wouldn’t be that simple – or that big of a savings – for Douglas. Bell is highly paid and coming off a disappointing season at a position that’s been devalued across the league. So, in order to trade him, Douglas would almost certainly have to eat a chunk of Bell’s salary – in 2020 and possibly beyond. Every dollar Douglas committed to pay would come out of that $9.5 million number, trimming the money saved. That said, there’s still a chance Douglas could free up a little money if he traded Bell, though that blockbuster deal is far from guaranteed.

 CB Trumaine Johnson: This one is a no-brainer, given how useless Johnson has been in his two seasons with the Jets. It’ll cost Douglas $12 million in dead money, but will free up $3 million in savings; Johnson is scheduled to eat up $15 million in cap space in 2021.

 LB Avery Williamson: The Jets’ starting inside linebacker comes with an $8.5 million cap hit next season, but if Douglas were to cut him, he’d have to eat just $2 million in dead money. So, it would be an effective savings of $6.5 million.

 OG Brian Winters: All of the guaranteed money in Winters’ deal has already been paid out, meaning the Jets could cut him at any point with no dead money. If they did, they’d save $7.5 million in 2020 cap space.

 CB Darryl Roberts: Roberts’ two-year deal has all the guaranteed money front loaded into 2019. So, if he’s cut at the end of this season, the Jets would free up $6 million in 2020 cap space without a dead-money hit.

 WR Josh Bellamy: Like Roberts, Bellamy is playing on a two-year deal, but has all of the guarantees in year one. Cutting him before 2020 would give the Jets and extra $2.25 million in cap space without penalty.

 C Jonotthan Harrison: Harrison is due more money than Bellamy in 2019, but their contracts look exactly the same in 2020. So, dumping him would also add $2.25 million to the salary cap without penalty.

 DT Steve McLendon: This move seems unlikely, since the Jets extended McLendon through 2020 during the middle of last season. That said, Douglas could save $2.5 million, with a dead money hit of just $325,000, if he were to cut McLendon.

So what is Douglas’ best-case scenario for cap space entering 2020?

Say, for the sake of this thought experiment, Douglas made all seven of these cuts. And say he traded Bell, without having to eat any salary. Suddenly, the Jets would have an extra $39.5 million available in 2020, bringing their total salary cap space up to a whopping $104.8 million.

Of course, the likelihood of all those moves happening is extremely, extremely low. But Douglas will likely make at least a few of them. So, in practice, the Jets will almost certainly end up somewhere in the middle of their current salary cap situation and this best-case scenario.

Our best guess, at least right now? Douglas cuts Johnson, Winters and Bellamy, freeing up $12.75 million and bringing the final number to about $78 million entering free agency and the NFL Draft.

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Plenty of money to bring in some high level talent 

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8 minutes ago, SR24 said:

Plenty of money to bring in some high level talent 

Question will be is there any high level talent available that will be worth paying, or overpaying in terms of getting them to come to the Jets. 

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4 minutes ago, CrazyCarl40 said:

Question will be is there any high level talent available that will be worth paying, or overpaying in terms of getting them to come to the Jets. 

Addition by subtraction Carl we get rid of some JAG's and sign better players who immediately improve the roster. 

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just a prediction these Jets under Joe Douglas will not be big FA movers and shakers 

they might not even sign a player that first week 

they will be bargain bin shopping and looking to get that 3rd round comp for whatever insane deal Robby gets 

 

 

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They have to re-sign a ton of guys and probably extend a few guys. 
 

Not expecting a bunch of big signings tbh 

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I think Joe D will land an edge rusher/CB and at least one OL early in free agency

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31 minutes ago, bitonti said:

just a prediction these Jets under Joe Douglas will not be big FA movers and shakers 

they might not even sign a player that first week 

they will be bargain bin shopping and looking to get that 3rd round comp for whatever insane deal Robby gets 

 

 

I get that same feeling but I think JD is under the gun to improve this roster immediately, anyway he can. 

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34 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

Addition by subtraction Carl we get rid of some JAG's and sign better players who immediately improve the roster. 

Like who?

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8 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Like who?

Free agents that are better than what we have. 

JaDeveon Clowney OLB 

Amari Cooper WR 

Byron Jones CB 

Dante Fowler OLB 

Bud Dupree OLB 

Jack Conklin OL 

Joe Thuney G 

Kyle Van Noy DE/OLB 

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16 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

Free agents that are better than what we have. 

JaDeveon Clowney OLB 

Amari Cooper WR 

Byron Jones CB 

Dante Fowler OLB 

Bud Dupree OLB 

Jack Conklin OL 

Joe Thuney G 

Kyle Van Noy DE/OLB 

most believe Cooper will be franchise tagged

Conklin has injuries 

and most importantly most of these free agents will probably want to go to a contender 

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1 hour ago, CrazyCarl40 said:

Question will be is there any high level talent available that will be worth paying, or overpaying in terms of getting them to come to the Jets. 

WRs like Cooper, Edge Rushers like Beasley, Fowler, etc. are possible since they can fill areas as even upgrades on what we have and then allow better draft flexibility. 

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JD should look to trade Henry Anderson. I’d trade him for a 7th before cutting McLendon.

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46 minutes ago, UnknownJetFan said:

WRs like Cooper, Edge Rushers like Beasley, Fowler, etc. are possible since they can fill areas as even upgrades on what we have and then allow better draft flexibility. 

I agree that they should be possible. But I don’t think you’re going to see a big ticket free agent come in. Probably a bunch of 2nd and 3rd tier guys. The problem is not enough money to entice them to the Jets. Each of the last few offseasons it’s been shown that even more money from the Jets on an offer doesn’t equate to that player becoming a Jet. 

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1 hour ago, SR24 said:

I think Joe D will land an edge rusher/CB and at least one OL early in free agency

Agree.  I don't think Joe D makes a huge splash throwing money around but I expect him to hit one of the top 3 or 4 available OLinemen and then probably another OLinemen later in the bargain bin (think another Tom Compton).  He'll get an average CB and Edge guy and then kinda fill out the roster, but I do think the focus will be on bringing back some key guys, notably on D like Jordan Jenkins and Poole.

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Avery Williamson is a nice player, and while it would be nice to see and Mosely paired together in the middle, it looks as though Cashman could step into that role. 

Edit: I didn’t realize how extensive Cashman’s injury history is, so relying on him may not be an option 

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35 minutes ago, Larz said:

They have to re-sign a ton of guys and probably extend a few guys. 
 

Not expecting a bunch of big signings tbh 

They will def. look to re-sign a lot of their own. Especially the depth and borderline starters that played well this year- like Burgess and A.Lewis. Having said that. There are a number of guys that are FA and still signed that are very much addition by subtraction and will need to be cut or let walk.  

7 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

Free agents that are better than what we have. 

I agree. Once the Jets cut guys like Winters, Roberts, Tru, maybe Williamson, they are going to let a bunch of FAs walk. Robby, Kalil, D.Thomas, possibly Beachum, Milez, Copeland, Compton, possibly Poole. And some of these Free Agents are solid players (Robby, Poole, Beachum- to a lesser extent), but that doesn't mean the Jets can't use that accumulated collective cap space to go after Cocklin or Sherff or A.Peat or a top CB or Pass Rusher.   

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17 minutes ago, Saul Goodman said:

Edit: I didn’t realize how extensive Cashman’s injury history is, so relying on him may not be an option 

I mentioned this in another thread it has to be seriously considered and cause a concern. 

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1 minute ago, PepPep said:

 

I agree. Once the Jets cut guys like Winters, Roberts, Tru, maybe Williamson, they are going to let a bunch of FAs walk. Robby, Kalil, D.Thomas, possibly Beachum, Milez, Copeland, Compton, possibly Poole. And some of these Free Agents are solid players (Robby, Poole, Beachum- to a lesser extent), but that doesn't mean the Jets can't use that accumulated collective cap space to go after Cocklin or Sherff or A.Peat or a top CB or Pass Rusher.   

YES this is exactly what i'm talking about!!!!!

Williamson might be worth another shot. 

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1 hour ago, Saul Goodman said:

Avery Williamson is a nice player, and while it would be nice to see and Mosely paired together in the middle, it looks as though Cashman could step into that role. 

Edit: I didn’t realize how extensive Cashman’s injury history is, so relying on him may not be an option 

So many guys stepped up and surprised on D this year, particularly at ILB.  I see Cashman competing for an ILB spot opposite Mosley but his injuries will always be a concern.  It's best to count on him as a reserve/backup and Special Teams guy.  Neville Hewitt and James Burgess are the guys who need to be seriously looked at for ILB.  Assuming Mosley comes back healthy I might be more in favor of having both of those guys on the team rather than Williamson.  Hewitt and Burgess got invaluable experience this year, were thrust into significant playing time and grew as players.  Mosley, Hewitt, Burgess and Cashman could be a good depth chart at ILB for 2020, and cost-wise could allow the Jets to spend the limited money and Draft picks they'll use on Defense on positions like Edge/OLB and CB spots.

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23 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

 I see Cashman competing for an ILB spot

 

Cashman is injury prone thats an issue. He played decent football when healthy, can he stay on the field. 

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