Well, far be it from me to sit around and criticize everybody else's ideas and not come up with any of my own. So I present to you my plan for the offseason. You can continue reading if you like, or you can just go ahead and hand me the trophy now:
PART I. First steps) These are moves I've been thinking about for about a month now and just haven't had time to write down:
1) Cut Scott, Pace, E. Smith, Pouha. I'll just go ahead and cut Tebow now, too.
2) Restructure the contracts of Holmes and Cromartie.
3) Tender offers to the RFAs Cumberland and Howard.
4) Sign FAs with hair on them, so cheap, but with upside. I'm thinking guys like Garrard, Goodson, the Colonator, and Garay. Uh, I have no idea why, but I was bored, so I signed Lex Hilliard and Nick Folk, too.
How do you like my moves so far? OK, so we have around $13M to play with now, what's next?
PART II. Additional restructuring) I realize many fans here would love to get rid of Harris at the earliest opportunity, but I'm going to commit to Harris through 2014. After all, there has to be some LB who is a Rex guy and there has to be some LB on this team who actually has proven he can play 100% of the plays and make tackles. And that $13M salary for 2013 is just ridiculous. So I'm going to pay $8M of his 2013 in an upfront bonus and count half of it for next year. A $4M savings for 2013.
Also, I'm a big fan of plagiarism, and I'm going to do the exact same thing as NYJETSCAP did with the Mangold contract. He's my horse and he's not going anywhere. A $2.4M 2013 savings.
We now have $19.4M in availability.
PART IV) Darrelle Revis. Last time I checked, this was - by far - the best player on the team, the player that is key to our defensive strategy and our HC, and the player on our roster who best gives a real sense of identity to our franchise and our fans. Well sure, I went ahead and wondered whether any team out there would throw 2 no. 1 picks at us, but it didnt happen, so if and when Revis knee is proven to be sound, I'm going to sit down with these agents and hammer out a deal. $70M for 5 years should do it. But I'm going to insist on no guarantees on years 4 and 5, and I'm going to keep the signing bonus a shade less than astronomical. It will require an add'l cap hit for 2013, say $3M.
PART V) Signing FAs. Have to sign a LB and a safety. Can't enter the draft with zero starters here.
OLB Victor Butler. GIive him a 3 year deal for say $7.5M with no signing bonus and limited guarantees. This guy has done nothing but be a solid contributor for a team where he just couldn't crack the starting lineup. I will again plagiarize from PFF:
Safety Dawon Landry. Very similar deal to Butler above. In the box tackler. Should be able to cover a TE not named Gronkowski or Hernandez in a pinch.
OK. I'm going to sit tight now with $11M left heading into the draft. Depending on how it plays out, I may need as much as $6M to sign rookies, and I'll have a little powder left to see what players shake free during the rest of the offseason. Surely there will be some players cut after the draft. There are definitely some more positions that need an upgrade, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
PART VI) The draft.
Well, Geno was taken by the Cards at 7. No surprise. And damn, we really could have used an edge rusher, and we really liked Jones, Jordan and Ansah, but they are all gone and we're just not sold on Mingo. Time to trade down. Yeah, I know its not a great year to trade down, but I have already called every team to see what they'd give up for the no.9. Its like my approach to dating. Just keep asking every girl and until eventually one says yes. Best I could do here was the 49ers. They have too many picks as it is for all these rookies to make the team. So they gave us no.s 31, 34 and 74. Not great, but it was the best I could do. I would have traded more - with the additional ammo I would have traded up to get Patterson at say 18, but I am operating under some randomly imposed rule so now I have to wait.
OK, time to draft: I'm going to try to forget so much about team needs here and get the best players I can. Woody already told me I have at least 3 years to turn this around, and I know Jets fans are totally patient. No doubt the Jets beat writers will help me with the fans by showing some common sense and foresight.
Pick 31) RT DJ Fluker. Well, the guys I loved with 1st Rd grades were Patterson, Austin, Eifert and Fluker and I was hoping one of the 4 would last till 31. The guy who did was Fluker. This guy is a monster. I really like having Howard as depth too, and hopefully our coaches can teach him how to play Guard in a pinch,
Pick 34) DE/OLB Alex Okafor. Big, fast, productive. Need to teach how to play OLB, but the skills and production are there. Size, speed, sacks, tackles for loss, forced fumbles - check.
Pick 39) RB Laveon Bell. Yeah, you think he's a reach? Think we have other holes to fill? Eat me. Right, we have a WCO OC now, but you don't think he'll be drooling watching this 230LB dude run behind Brick, Ducasse, Mangold, the Colonator and Fluker? Bell is a high motor guy who finds cracks and always falls with a forward lean. Can catch the ball, too. Its a lot easier running a WCO when you have 3rd and 2 rather than 3rd and 8.
Pick 72) FS Philip Thomas. He can cover. Plus, he can cover.
Pick 74) TE Travis Kelce. Well, we were hoping Vance McDonald fell to us, but he didn't. Escobar is a better receiver, but we really prefer a solid blocker here, and this guy Kelce plays with a mean streak.
CONCLUSIONS) So there you have it. I'm pretty happy, although there are still positions I'm not at all crazy about namely - QB, WR and NT. But you can't force these short term needs, you can only take the values that are there. It was a good year in the draft for safety, TE and DE/OLB. Plus, I still have around $5M to see what WRs may come free. And we still have to see if Hill can be that guy. Job not finished, we've only just begun. And, by the way, before you guys start ripping into these AGOPs, try one yourself. Its not so easy.
QB: Garrard, Sanchez
RB: Bell, Goodson, Powell, McKnight
FB: I'd rather not talk about it
WR: Holmes, Hill, Kerley, Gates, whoever else.
TEs: Cumberland, Kelce, the Aussie
OLine: Brick, Ducasse, Mangold, the Colonator, Fluker w/ Howard and another min. vet in reserve.
DLine: Mo, Coples, Garay, Ellis, another min. vet DE
LB: Harris, Okafor, Butler, Davis - and the rest of the scrubs we already have
CBs: Revis, Cro, Wilson
Safeties: J. Landry, Philip Thomas or Bush.