When I last did a salary cap update, the Jets had cap space of approximately $8m. With all rookies now signed apart from Jordan White (whose deal should be a mere formality) and a few other moves over the last month, the Jets currently have cap room of just under $6m.
The cap room used up amounts to just $2m, despite the fact that Quinton Coples alone is receiving over $5m this season and the contracts of Yeremiah Bell, Stephon Heyer and Ray Willis add up to almost $3m. This is because Coples received most of his money as a signing bonus which will be prorated over four years for cap purposes and the deals for Heyer and Willis were minimum level deals qualifying for the vested veterans exception, which reduces the net cost of adding both of them to the roster to less than $300,000. There was also a minor saving in respect of the release of DeAngelo Smith and a saving of around $600,000 following the restructure of Mike DeVito’s deal.
Although the cap space currently stands at about $5.8m there are a lot of potential small savings that should arise during the offseason. For example, none of the salaries for any of the five players drafted on the last day of the draft or any of the undrafted rookies are currently included in the top 51. So, for each one that makes a team, that will give rise to a cap saving because their salary will be lower than the player they replace. For the undrafted rookies, the saving would be at least $75,000 each and for the draft picks approximately $50,000. Since the Jets had fewer picks last year, but still had 11 rookies on the roster, it’s reasonable to assume they could have 12 or more rookies this year, creating additional cap room of about $1m. There will also be additional savings whenever a veteran is released, so when you have battles like Heyer/Willis and Nick Folk/Josh Brown where it’s not likely both will make the roster, an additional $75,000 can be saved each time.
That’s enough about 2012 for today, but I’d like to close by focusing briefly on next year, following comments by John Clayton and Rich Cimini of ESPN about the Jets being $19m over next year’s projected cap and how this may affect their ability to re-sign Darrelle Revis. Over at NYJetsCap.com, Jason does a stellar job of outlining why this isn’t a big deal once you account for the players not likely to be on the team next year and the flexibility built into the Jets’ cap structure. He concludes:
So, yes, as of today the Jets are $19 million or so over the cap in 2013, but it’s nothing to worry about or nothing that has not been planned for by the organization. So enjoy 2012 and lets really worry about 2013 next January or February rather than before the 2012 season even begins.
I’d add that Revis already has a cap number of $9m for 2013 accounted for anyway, so I’d imagine any new deal for him could easily be structured in such a way that the cap number in that year didn’t increase too dramatically. This would mean that they wouldn’t use up much cap space in 2013 to re-sign him.
We will continue to try and keep you fully up to date with the Jets’ cap situation. As ever, all information has been checked in an effort to be as accurate as possible, but if you do have any questions, corrections or conflicting reports, please let us know.