While looking through the FA market and draft talk, sometimes we forget we have our own Free Agents to resign. This is a look at what internal roster moves I think need to be taken care of before we dip our hands in the Free Agent market.
First off I'm going to lay out positions that we will need to address this offseason. A few of these I had a real tough time deciding which was more important but I think that general consensus is something along these lines:
RT, SS or FS, OLB, backup QB, WR, ILB, P, O line Depth, 3rd RB, K, 2nd TE, 4th Corner/ 4th safety.
(For how much money we have in Free Agency I'm using Jets Caps numbers as well as a cap of 123 million total plus another 7.8 million John B. highlighted will be transferred over.
If all FA hit the open market and we do not resign any, we save a ton of money. However, this is impractical.)
Ironically all of our Free Agents fall into our needs listed above. I say ironic because we will free up some money in the positions we need to upgrade without cutting anyone and having dead money. The only one player who does not fall into our needs happens to be Sione Pouha, who I want to bring back as a first priority.
So let's go through the Free Agents we have and bring back the ones who actually have some value.
Sione Pouha needs to be brought back for several reason, he's great at what he does plus the fact we have so many other needs and we can keep this strength. I think we can probably bring him back on a 3 year, 4 million per year deal giving us a hit around 4.5 million after a bonus. He's a great teammate, plus he's been called the best at what he does. Think Haynesworth whose not lazy, and plays every down, that's the kind of player he is. The amount I came up with is right about the upper crust of all DT actually putting him in the top 3 paid DT's in the NFL. A signing bonus of 2 or 3 million may also help.
Jim Leonhard also comes back. Ironically his injuries probably helped us. I would only sign him to a 1 or 2 year deal. I think 2 million a year brings him back once again. (Same deal in essence he got to come to NY.) I think if he was any other player than the signal caller and heart of the defense we would not bring him back, but because of our holes at Safety I think he gets brought back.
Maybin also comes back at 1.5 million per year and a 2 year deal. He is an RFA but I'm willing to have him as a pass rush specialist. WIth someone else on the other side of the line giving a push, he really looks to be part of a two prong attack that can be deadly on third down.
Total cost: 14-17 million including bonuses.
Otherwise, I bid farewell to Plax, Westerman, BT, LT Pool and Strickland. Folk, who has made big kicks in tight spots for us is also a casualty. I wish we could bring him back for those big kicks in tight spots, but his stats just do not add up either.
Plax, Westerman, and LT I'm open to bringing back, only if our other options are taken away in the Free agent signing period, or if we cannot find a person to draft suitable to fix the hole. Plax is also intriguing as a 3rd WR so he has some more leeway with me. Again nothing over 1.5 million and I think we could bring him back in the right spots. Westerman should be replaced with our new "stud" who is pretty obvious we need. LT is only brought back if someone gets hurt after Free Agency.
Pool is too inconsistent, and I've never thought much of Strickland.
Time to get the knife out, it's time to cut a few loose ends. So long Hunter (2.5 mill back) So long E Smith (2.5 million) but not Ducasse. Also lets convert the bonuses over, after all this we get to about 9 million more money to throw around.
Players to restructure: Mark Sanchez.... I'd like to see him under 5 million a year, but that will not happen, he has a 14 million dollar cap hit as of right now, but if we can somehow get him under ten (I'm looking at you Mr. T) consider it a victory. Slauson and Devito do offer savings if cut but I rather just restructure them. Especially Devito who has a 2.5 million dollar cap hit. Pace, also has a 7.4 cap hit, but we get no savings at all if he's cut. Also give Keller a extension, that will only help. Once again Mike T please help.
So in essence we have spent 8 million and would save another 9 million in cuts not counting anything that we can restructure. Plus another 7.9 from the year before gives us 8 million to spend before any restructures. Knowing how Mike T works, it could bring in another 10 million.
Time for Free Agency spending spree.