I chose to really blow things up a bit for the purposes of this mock, cuttin guys. I don't really think all these moves are realistic, but since it's a mock, I figured why not just go overboard a bit. I tried to list the moves in each section from most realistic to least or if realistic isn't the best word than importance might fit better.
The contract amounts are rough estimates which I based on the current market. No idea how this year's free agent market shapes up, but these are as close as I could come to how I think these guys should be valued. I didn't bother to put in the amounts for a lot of guys who I think should be earning a minimum deal. I also skipped all the Jets RFAs and Exclusive rights free agents. There are a couple of guys like Isaiah Trufant and I believe Nick Bellore who fall in that category and I'll just assume that they will be signed to minimum deals as well. I don't think there are any significant names that will be RFAs like last year with Howard, altho I do think locking up Bellore should be considering a minor priority. I also skipped over all the guys on IR or the practice squad who I expect to see in training camp, like Dalton Freeman, Rontez Miles, Vidal Hazleton, Troy Davis, John Griffin, TJ Barnes and others. I mentioned those guys because I think they have some promise and wouldn't be surprised to see one or two make it thru final cuts.
cap space ~ 60m
Mo Wilkerson - 5 yrs @ 10m/yr
Kyle Wilson - 3 yrs @ 1.3m/yr
Jeremy Kerley - 4 yrs @ 1.3m/yr
Not sure any of these moves have to get done. Idzik will most likely exercise the option year on Mo's contract and then if a deal can't be worked out, there is time, altho I think getting a long term deal signed this offseason should be a major priority for the front office. Extending Kyle Wilson is an idea I think has enough merit to be kicked around at least. He has improved every year since his poor rookie season, and has become a pretty reliable defensive back. If he can be signed for that amount or less even, then there will be enough savings on the 2014 cap to cover Kerley's extension which might be a good idea if the Jets plan on improving on offense. If Idzik foresees another abysmal offensive season for this team then allowing Kerley to play to free agency should not be a problem. As a fan, I'd like to see him locked up tho.
cap space ~ 50m
Austin Howard - 4 yrs @ 3.5m/yr
Willie Colon - 2 yrs @ 1.5m/yr
Jeff Cumberland - 3 yrs @ 1m/yr
Leger Douzable - 2 yrs @ 0.6m/yr
The right side of the offensive line has been one of the only bright spots on that entire side of the ball, and they are both set to hit free agency. Locking up Howard to a long term deal should be pretty important, and bringing Colon back for another year or two, while his replacement, possibly Will Campbell is groomed seems like the right idea. I like the idea of keeping these two together. One less thing to worry about on offense. Cumberland should be a cheap tight end option. Douzable might want to go seek a starting job somewhere else which I wouldn't begrudge him at all, so I'll offer him backup money and encourage him to sign with an NFC team. I am not too concerned with this staffs ability to find and coach up d-line depth. Lankster and Berry should be got for the minimum.
Free Agent QB Targets:
I'd rather not presume what the market will value these guys at, but it's just my short list for veteran QBs that I wouldn't mind see brought in, listed sort of in order of interest. Tarvaris Jackson and Josh McCown in particular are of interest. Idzik should be familiar with Jackson from Seattle, altho he was a part of the front office that traded him to Buffalo. David Lee the QB coach has worked with both Jackson and the elder McCown tho, so that should at least make them of interest.
Other Free Agent Targets:
Jeremy Maclin - 4 yrs @ 5m/yr
Brandon LaFell - 3 yrs @ 3.3m/yr
Geoff Schwartz - 3 yrs @ 1m/yr
Jon Asamoah - 3 yrs @ 1m/yr
Garrett Graham - 3 yrs @ 1.7m/yr
Kellen Davis - 1 yr @ 0.7m
Tandon Doss - 2 yrs @ 0.7m/yr
Kevin Ogletree - 2 yrs @ 0.7m/yr
Pat Angerer - 1 yr @ 1m/yr --OR-- Daryl Smith - 2 yr @ 1.2m/yr
Walter Thurmond - 4 yrs @ 2.3m/yr
Shaun Phillips - 2 yrs @ 1.2m/yr
I know a lot of people like the idea of signing Jeremy Maclin. Even at 5m/yr, I am not sure it is good value. So I provided a second option in Brandon LaFell. Both Chiefs guards would be great additions to the o-line and could either start or provide solid depth. I think a look at a few cheap options at tight end and wide receiver should definitely be looked into. Garrett Graham in particular is a guy who I think has some upside.
On defense, I like Pat Angerer a lot but he is coming off another injury so he'll have to be checked out carefully. In the end, he could be a bargain because of that. Both him and Daryl Smith are significant upgrades over David Harris in coverage. Walter Thurmond is the most talented defensive back in the free agent market and has been buried on the depth chart in Seattle. With Browner suspended and Thurmond returning from his suspension in time for the playoffs, he has time to show what he is capable of and drive up his price, so we'll see. Idzik should be very familar with him tho. Shaun Phillips could come in and compete with Antwan Barnes for the outside linebacker spot. I don't think both of them should stick on the roster, so no guarranteed money for him and if he doesn't win the starting job at outside linebacker then show him the door the way Antonio Garay was handled. Maybe bring back Calvin Pace to compete for that spot as well if the price is right.
1 WR, USC, Jr, Marqise Lee
2 FS, FSU, Sr, Lamarcus Joyner
3 OLB, Georgia Tech, Sr, Jeremiah Attaochu
3 WR, Ole Miss, Jr, Donte Moncrief
4 G/C, Oklahoma, Sr, Gabe Ikard
4 QB, Georgia, Sr, Aaron Murray
5 CB, Florida, Sr, Jaylen Watkins
5 LB, Michigan State, Sr, Max Bullough
6 RB, Alabama State, Jr, Isaiah Crowell
7 RB/WR/PR, Kent State, Sr, Dri Archer
7 FB, Oklahoma, Sr, Trey Millard
7 WR, Nebraska, Sr, Quincy Enunwa
I added in the expected compensation picks at their appropriate rounds. For rankings, I used CBSSports' prospect rankings which I don't necessarily agree with but made things easier. A guy like Dri Archer in particular is a guy who has been talked about a lot and has the talent and athleticism to rise quite a bit, but for now I'll take him in the 7th since he was available there on their board.
I know I went with defense a bit early, but that's just where I saw the value and I hope I made up for it with Marqise Lee and Donte Moncrief. Isaiah Crowell also should be a steal, even if he ends up going in the fifth round. He's very talented but had to transfer out of Georgia because of problems off the field. He's been quiet at Alabama State while dominating inferior competition, so give him a shot. Max Bullough could be the future at linebacker next to Demario Davis. He is not that athletic, so he may actually drop this far but he calls the shots on the field for the top defense in the nation, so he's got the smarts to excell at linebacker in Ryan's system. Jayeln Watkins is a pretty talented defensive back who has been playing some safety this year because of all the talent at corner that Florida has. I think he could make a good nickelback and provide some more cornerback depth. Joyner and Attaochu I think both have first round talent and fill those long empty holes of speedy edge rusher and playmaking safety. If they can be drafted on the second day it would be hard to pass up. Gabe Ikard could easily step in and compete for a guard spot and backup Nick Mangold at center as well, thereby allowing us to drop the Schlauderaff. Aaron Murray provides that rookie qb competition for Geno and a veteran, and Trey Millard can compete with Tommy Bohanon who has been less than impressive. Millard is coming off an injury so could drop to the seventh, but is a pretty dynamic weapon for a fullback. He can run and catch the ball as well as block. If healthy, he could be an upgrade over Bohanon. I guess that just leaves Quincy Enunwa. He's a receiver with good size who has been a good red-zone target this year for Nebraska, catching 10 tds, so I'd say he's worth a look.
Anyway, it's not perfect, but I think it is good. My mock draft is more to point out some players that I really like. I wouldn't mind seeing a good receiving tight end in there, but I think those guys are a bit overvalued by the draft media and they have also been discussed quite a bit on these boards, so I left them off. A tight end that I like a lot is FSU's Nick O'Leary. He's a junior so maybe he won't declare and cbssports left him off their rankings for some reason so I did not include him in my mock. He's Jack Nicklaus' grandson and looks really talented. Not sure where he would rank, but I'd imagine that he'd be available in the middle rounds if he declares.
Thanks for reading. I hope it wasn't too much. This is the first time, I've put together one of these completely, altho I've always liked to mess around in partial degrees. I figured I'd get my first one in before the season is over and the free agency and draft landscape starts changing dramatically and becoming more of a reality.