The New York Jets have done an awful lot of purging so far this offseason, having already released multiple veterans such as Bart Scott and Calvin Pace a short while back, while releasing Sione Pouha yesterday. The team was well over the salary cap leading up to the free agency period, which necessitated these moves.
A couple of contract restructures over the past two days with cornerback Antonio Cromartie and wide receiver Santonio Holmes have given the Jets some breathing room as far as the salary cap goes. By converting base salaries to signing and other bonuses, the two restructures, along with the multiple terminations, have the Jets around $15 million below the cap.
Further moves over the past couple of days have opened up some available cap space, true enough, but other than signing quarterback David Garrard, who has not played in two seasons, and re-signing fullback Lex Hilliard and linebacker Josh Mauga, the Jets have yet to do much so far, other than lose their own free agents.
Veteran defensive tackle Mike DeVito has already moved on, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Arizona Cardinals have signed safety Yeremiah Bell. Running back Shonn Greene has moved on to the Tennessee Titans.
Tight end Dustin Keller appears set to find opportunity on another team. Safety LaRon Landry is also expect to land elsewhere for a contract outside of the Jets’ price range. Couple that with the earlier release of Eric Smith, and, well, the Jets don’t really have anybody to play safety right now.
Add to that the fact that they have released two of their starting linebackers and their desire to trade Darrelle Revis, and you are looking at a defense that is ravaged by departures and is very evidently in rebuilding mode without the talent to immediately replace it.
There is still a long time to go in free agency and the Jets have some cap space, but $15 million is not as much as one might think. That money must also account for the 2013 rookie class and practice squad, among other expenses.
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