Free Agent Focus: How could looming cap casualties impact the Jets?

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

This week the Atlanta Falcons released CB Asante Samuel and OLB Stephen Nicholas, marking the start of the NFL release period, in which many players with looming cap numbers get cut prior to the free agency signing period.  Sportrac also provided their list of 30 names of potential cap casualties recently.

Here’s some big names of players that might or might not have any impact on the Jets.

bailey

DB Champ Bailey, Broncos:  Bailey’s contract has him slated to earn $10 million this year and there is no way that the Broncos will pay that freight.  Bailey just stated this week that he would be open to becoming a safety to continue to play in the NFL.  At this point that might be the best solution for the league’s former shutdown corner. Jets chances of adding: Bailey has yet to win a Super Bowl, so if he doesn’t come back to the Broncos on a minimum deal he will probably be shopping around the league for a team that will give them a chance at the Lombardi trophy.

WR Nate Burleson, Lions: Detroit is going to need to make some large changes to get their cap situation in line and they could stand to gain $5.5 million by cutting the popular and productive Burleson.   Burleson has said that he would like to return in 2014 but he might get more on the open market should be be cut.
Jets chances of adding: The Jets badly need to add receivers who can provide at least 40 to 60 receptions a year and who can help to make getting open easier for everyone.  Burleson is now 32 years old and his statistics have been in decline for two years in addition to his inability to stay healthy.  A player like him might add some production, but can’t be relied on to be a frontline 16 game starter.

QB Jason Campbell, Browns: The Browns are looking for their long-term quarterback and with a new coach in town they might want to move past the Jason Campbell era, a move which would save the Browns around $3 million in cap space.
Jets chances of adding: The Jets were said to be interested in Campbell last offseason.  Would they be interested in adding a veteran starter with more recent starting experience than David Garrard?  It seems possible, but unlikely.

CB Cortland Finnegan, Rams: Finnegan is due to make $10 million in 2014 and he is not the player he once was, though he was formerly regarded as one of the best coverage corners in the league.
Jets chances of adding: Other than drafting players, the Jets tend to add cornerbacks who are young castoffs from other teams (who were castoff for scheme fit issues) or through the undrafted free agency process.  Based on his recent play, Finnegan doesn’t likely fit the profile for how the Jets like to build their cornerback battery.

RB Chris Johnson, Titans:  Johnson is almost assuredly going to be released from the Titans now that he is on a new coaching staff and is not able to provide the level of production he did four years ago.  Johnson is nowhere near the player he once was, but his burst and ability to quickly accelerate can still be found.
Jets chances of adding: The Jets need a dynamic running back who can catch the ball and mix up what Chris Ivory brings to the team.  

QB Kevin Kolb, Bills: EJ Manuel has cemented his starting spot on this roster and unfortunately, Kevin Kolb can’t seem to stay healthy along with a $1 million roster bonus due shortly and a potential $3.1 million cap savings.
Jets chances of  adding: the Jets were said to be interested in KK last year and they still are looking for options at the back up quarterback position this year.  problem of course with Kolb is that just like David Garrard health seems to be a major concern for his readiness even as a backup.

peppersDE/OLB Julius Peppers, Bears: Peppers is now 34 and is played his least productive football in 2013.  That coupled with a massive $18.2 million cap figure next season will force the Bears to get Peppers to the negotiating table or off their ledger.  The Bears might slow-play the situation to allow Peppers to be designated a June 1 cut (dividing the $8 cap hit over two seasons) but it will depend on when they want that $10 million available to them for 2014 signings.
Jets chances of adding: The Jets did this before with Jason Taylor, could they again?  Coming off an 8-8 season might not prove much of a draw for Peppers who might look to latch on with a team that is closer to contention.

S Troy Polamalu, Steelers: The rumors are that the Steelers will start tearing down their team and cutting Troy Polamalu could save the Steelers $8.25 million.  In 2013 Polamalu played all 16 games last season and looked dominant and as aggressive as ever.  Polamalu might be the heart-and-soul of the Steelers defense but Pittsburgh might not be able to keep him.
Jets chances of adding: The Jets did add Ed Reed in 2013… could this be a possibility too?  The Steelers could figure out a way to keep their safety, but the Jets need to get younger and better in coverage at the safety this offseason.

WR Sidney Rice, Seahawks: Rice is rehabbing from a torn ACL this winter and with more than $7 million available to the defending champs by cutting Rice, it seems likely that the Seahawks will be moving on.
Jets chances of adding: Adding a player like Rice seems a risk for a team with enough of projected cap space to sign a healthier player.  This week there were reports that Rice is having an exemplary comeback from his tear.  Even so it seems unlikely that the Jets would add Rice quickly.

OLB DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys: The Cowboys and Ware are going to be getting into a staring contest rather soon.  Where has said he is not open to taking a pay cut and the Cowboys badly need to shed some room for their salary cap in 2014.
Jets chances of adding: Ware played for Rob Ryan, while Rex’s twin was the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys. Ware has publicly stated that he thought Rob was “one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for” so it would be unreasonable to see him try and reunite with one of the sons of Buddy.  We’re sure that Rob would reciprocally give Ware a thumbs up on his potential.




43 comments
frustjetfn
frustjetfn

Campbell to replace Garrard? NFW! Why bring in a QB who can still play and threaten Geno? The Jets automatically award their starting QB job on draft day and will not bring anyone in to threaten their preconceived notions. Competition at all position except QB is SOP since Sanchez  and so far it hasn't changed under Idzik.

marcus81
marcus81

best FA on that list is Campbell, the other guys are too old

Kyle Suta
Kyle Suta

Here's who I think/want the jets to sign in FA

WR Anquan Boldin (2/13m) - he's old but Geno needs a #1 that can catch anything Maclin and sanders are good but we need size

G Geoff Schwartz (1/850k) - Colon was lucky to make it through 16 games and winters is raw.

QB Matt Cassel (2/7m) - veteran who can lead us to the playoffs if Geno turns the ball over like he did last year

S TJ Ward (5/28m, 16 guaranteed) We need a really good safety opposite the savvy Landry. Allen can play LB in the sub package and cover TEs.

DT Ropati Pitoitua (1/850k) DL Depth familiar with system

a57se
a57se

Unless there are just no other options, I don't want any guys thirty or older except Mr. Reed.

If we were in win now mode and needed a vet at a position or two to get us over the hump then these guys would be viable....we are not in that position.

juunit
juunit

Well, having both Polamalu AND Ed Reed at safety would be f***ing awesome, even if they're not as good as they once were.

idothis2
idothis2

how has EJ Manuel cemented his starting spot on the Bills, but Geno needs competition for the starting spot. Geno showed more upside in my eyes than EJ. This whole Geno needs competition is nonsensical.

kniff
kniff

I'll take Troy Polamalu any day of the week, that dude hustles!!

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

You know, I dont blame Ware for not wanting to take a pay cut. Hes done so much for Dallas, and in return Jerry Jones continues to destroy the team and their hopes of ever having a solid defense ever since Ware got drafted by them in 05. There best shot was with Rob Ryan, and Jerry Jones shipped him off because all he knows how to do is drown the cowboys. I wouldnt break the bank for Ware, I love they guy and would especially love to have him on the team, but as i mentioned it the last thread, if we can find a way to settle our offensive issues by round 2 of the draft this year... guys like Dee Ford, Scott Crichton, Trent Murphy, and Kyle Van Noy, may all be available and they all look like terrific OLB prospects whom id love to draft.

bklyndude
bklyndude

Campbell,  Vick,  McCown are the guys everybody is considering to compete with Geno.  

Is that because of their strong history of leading teams to the playoffs.  The Jets are giving Geno his chance for better or worse.  Might as well build up the offense and see if he's any better than these guys.   Those guys would be fine veteran backups which the team needs,  but not as starting material. 

harvlis
harvlis

I wouldn't give big money to any of these players.  That being said, except for the QB's, I would take a look at any of them, for the right price.   

McGeorge
McGeorge

None of these guys interest me.  If the Jets can get Sidney Rice for 2MM then maybe, but he'll want more.


2MM for Peppers. 3MM for Polamalu.  Jason Cambell?  Eh.


I'd rather the Jets save the money so they can negotiate smart long term contracts with their key players , like Wilkerson.  Save some of this money so they can use it for a large payment on year one, then reduced payments thereafter to Wilkerson.

Malty by nature
Malty by nature

I dont want any of these Free Agents... maybe Chris Johnson if he is cheap, but with his attitude I'm not kicking down any doors to get him

harold
harold

If healthy which is a big if with him would be a solid addition.

Pat d
Pat d

Reed over Polamalu?

harold
harold

@a57se

I agree 100% no old F/A

Did you see them saying Tate would only get 5 million per year.  No way (that is why I said previously sometimes they are overly conservative).

Amendola got 5 years between 28.5 and 31 million reports differ.

Tate is better, more durable and returns punts.

Can't see him signing for less than 7 million APY.  An dhe could get 8 million APY

kniff
kniff

@juunit  Right on...and we sell it to Cro to restructure... so Milliner, Cro, and Wilson, with Troy and Reed as Safeties.


Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls for depth...not bad.

Pat d
Pat d

Geno isn't the answer

DrJonathanReefer
DrJonathanReefer

While I agree we need a vet who can step in and win games if Geno derps it up. I also tend to think that Geno needs as many reps as he can get. He needs to play with the 1s as much as possible.

__fense
__fense

@idothis2  Because one of them is on the Bills and the other is on the Jets. People will be calling for Geno to be benched until he wins a super bowl. 

DrJonathanReefer
DrJonathanReefer

Ledo we agree yet again. Campbell all day because if Geno sucks it up he can def manage the game enough to still give us a good shot at the playoff.

Pat d
Pat d

I can't see Geno beating out any half decent QB

Steven Windeler
Steven Windeler

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo The Cowboys need to cut around 10 billion dollars. JJ makes Tanny look like a genius. The question is how much someone will be willing to give him. I'd put in a flyer on him, but I wouldn't go all in.

harold
harold

Yes imo Reed has always been the better player. His legendary study habits and ability still now to help generate turnovers are definitely needed by the Jets to help their young defense become elite.

a57se
a57se

@harold  

Amendola put up much better stats than Tate but the injury bug has plagued him. I would be surprised if someone gives Tate the same contract as Amendola....especially with such a strong WR draft.....

I would bring Pace back if we don't draft a OLB who can set the edge.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo @bklyndude   I'm all for having a good veteran on the team as a backup,  but if Campbell were named the stater would the fans really be excited.   We need to find out how good Geno can become before we entertain these mediocre QB's as guys to lead the Jets.  Hopefully Geno can continue to improve and be better than these guys.

harvlis
harvlis

@j3tsfan29 At 34 years old?  No way.  We need a future, not an injured past.


j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

No way man. Campbell sucked as cutlers backup, McCown atleast made plays. Not even close. Mccowns hands down better.

harvlis
harvlis

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo If Campbell had the same weapons and O-line as the Jets, who knows if he would be better than our first year QB.  I have no problem with a new QB but, not any of these. 

Kyle Suta
Kyle Suta

I'm cutting then resigning Cro in my ecenario

kniff
kniff

@jake100  We can in Kyle's scenario, prioritize CBs in the draft...


You all know I'd sign up for Boldin and Schwartz yesterday!!  

a57se
a57se

@harold  

Look at the first two years of their careers as well and take every year as indiividually.....Amendola has been the better player when healthy.

harold
harold

I gave stats over last two years how is that cherry picking? I would have used last three but Amendola was hurt in 2011. Not sure what your angle is on this one.

a57se
a57se

@harold  

Harold, cherry picking stats is not the way to go.


harold
harold

Last two years

Tate 109 Rec, 1586 yards and 12 TD's. Plus 11.4 yds per punt return last yr

Amendola 117 Rec, 1299 yds and 5 TD's

Plus as you stated consistently injured.

Who do want the soon to be 29 yr old who can't stay on the field or the soon to be 26 year old who has been tough durable and gotten better each year in the NFL.

I am on record as saying I don't want him for big money but if he is a 5 million dollar a year player sign me up. 

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

I'd take Vick over Campbell. Dude sucks!!! I find it hilarious you say mccowns arm is weak and Campbell's is cannon like in comparison yet McCown actually played well with the bears where Campbell, well sucked. Anyways I hope neither Vick or Campbell come to our team but if I had to choose I'd take my chances with Vick 7 days a week 24 hours a day and twice on Sundays.

Steven Windeler
Steven Windeler

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo @Steven Windeler You are most definitely correct. The good thing about these guys becoming FAs is it takes other less responsible teams out of the running for the position. Then the value FA pool should become cheaper.