As the New York Jets enter the free agent signing period the spotlight will be shining bright on second-year general manager John Idzik. The Jets gm will have significant resources to work with following a season where his hands were primarily tied due to salary cap restrictions. Now armed with salary cap flexibility, what approach will Idzik take as he gets his first true chance to leave his imprint on the Jets roster?
Aggressive out of the gate?
If the New York Jets are going to be in the market for some of the "big time" free agents the organization will have to be very aggressive in terms of their approach and offer. Players like Jairus Byrd, TJ Ward, and Golden Tate will have several bidders with the same cap flexibility as the Jets so it all comes down to the sales pitch and intent of the team. Will John Idzik and the Jets be willing to break the bank for a player that the team covets? For example will the New York Jets be willing to make Jairus Byrd the highest paid safety in the National Football League (over $9 million per year, $30 million guaranteed)?
Let the market play out?
Or do the Jets take the more cautious approach by letting the market play out and avoid bidding wars and splashy signings? Instead of pursuing top-level wide receivers like Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders, Idzik looks to second tier pass catchers like Jacoby Jones, Andre Roberts, Brandon LaFell, or Sidney Rice.
Combination of both approaches?
My guess is that the Jets will try to combine both approaches. If there is a difference maker that the organization covets the team will not be scared to open their wallet. At the same time John Idzik will not spend just to spend and will stay true to his player evaluations. I don't believe that Idzik will fall into the trap of paying a #3 wide receiver, #1 receiver money.
The honeymoon period is over
Last season John Idzik could do no wrong as most of Jets nation was ready to move on from general manager Mike Tannenbaum. This year Idzik will be facing a different set of circumstances as the fan base is hungry for a significant talent upgrade that will put the team in the midst for a playoff contention.
It will be fascinating to watch how John Idzik and the New York Jets front office handle this free agent signing period.