Looking Ahead to the 2013 Salary Cap? Keep Looking …

The truth can be hard sometimes, but sometimes a serious dose of the truth is what it takes to snap out of a stupor.  If you haven’t yet read Jason’s article over at NYJetsCap.com on the woeful Jets salary cap outlook for 2013, I’d suggest you get ready, gird your loins and then click that link.

Jason does an excellent job explaining how the Jets got to this point as well as some projected plans for moving forward.  Whatever path the Jets take – it is clear it will come at a cost.  As Jason writes, despite some deft moves and $18 million in cap room for 2013, here’s the big issue facing the Jets front office:

The problem is that the roster is so top heavy that even with all that money it is still a barebones roster. That would be a roster of only 35 players. The roster would now be without 2/5 of their starting 2012 offensive line, starting tight end, starting defensive end, starting nose tackle, 2 starting linebackers, and 2 starting safeties.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Yikes.  And while they might be able to retain what they have, don’t forget that the Jets are in the midst of what looks like a crisis at the quarterback position, running back position and wide receiver position.  Oh and Revis will still want a new deal next year, ACL be damned.  With bloated cap numbers for 2013, almost $41 million in salary will be allocated to just five guys: Holmes, Harris, Sanchez, Ferguson and Cro.  Of that bunch, there’s probably only one player (Brick) that I envision being on this team for another three seasons, which means that offsetting those numbers through proration won’t be very likely for anyone other than Brick.

In the NFL, maximizing returns from players on minimum dollars is the holy grail that everyone seeks, one of the best and easiest ways to hit on that is by drafting well and squeezing every last tackle or yard out of players still stuck on their rookie deals.  With that in mind, in retrospect the 2008 – 2010 drafting stretch for the Jets was one of their absolute worst, and that group should be paying it’s largest dividends right now at minimum costs — players late in their rookie deals that have become seasoned veterans starters looking for their big payday after restricted free agency.

For the Jets there’s not many ways out of this hole, but focusing on the NFL Draft has to be a major method, and it still could take them multiple years to build the talent back that they are going to need to refill this coming offseason.