You all know me. It's your neighborhood Dolphins fan. By the time you finished reading that last sentence, I was likely disqualified from the AGOP contest. I spend enough time refuting why the Jets shouldn't do A or why B isn't realistic so it's only fair to say what I think would work well for the Jets and let everyone line up and do the same to me.
Mark Sanchez, QB - Self explanatory.
Santonio Holmes, WR - Simply not worth the high contract. Despite Jets fans being disgruntled still with his history of quitting, everything with Holmes would be kosher if he was living up to his deal, but he's not.
Antonio Cromartie, CB - Even Cromartie expects to be cut and admits he played poorly last year. This gives the Jets a chance to try and get a good deal for him on the short term. He's in the final year of his contract and is due $4.3 mil in base salary and another $5 mil roster bonus. What do I do as the Jets? I try to take care of Cromartie before free agency starts and see if I can get a pretty good deal for both sides. What do I get? Extending Cromartie's contract a single year and keep the $4.3 mil base salary for 2014 and give him a base salary of $6 mil in 2015. That $5 mil roster bonus for 2014 is voided in the new deal. Now I don't expect Cromartie to give such a discount and have no guarantees for 2015, so I toss in a $2 mil signing bonus. That means his cap hit for the new deal is $5.3 mil in 2014 and $7 mil in 2015 ($1 mil in dead money if cut). This does not include the extra money he counts towards the cap if he was cut, but this is a pretty good deal for both sides I think.
Austin Howard, OT - Not a top tackle, but is a good starter. 3 years for approximately $14 mil.
Calvin Pace, OLB - Rome can't be rebuilt in a day. I don't buy that Pace had a resurgent year, but he did good enough to at least return. He won't have a big market, but that works into the Jets' favor because they can re-sign him and just cut him later for minimal cap hit if they're comfortable with a new starter in the preseason. 1 year, $1.2 mil.
Nick Folk, K - Thrown in here for default as he is tagged. Try to work out an extension, but the Jets are set here for now.
Willie Colon, G - The fact that he has a torn biceps works even better for the Jets. He probably won't be signed in March. Very well likely he's not signed until after the draft even. Except this AGOP contest doesn't come with a timeline. Colon is aging and has an injury and with better guards on the market he's going to be passed up. 1 year, $1.2 mil.
Free Agent Signings:
Chris Clemons, FS - Jets fans are clamoring for a Jairus Byrd or TJ Ward. Except they're going to cost top dollar and I believe Byrd is going to be overpaid. I don't want to be the one to overpay. Clemons on the other hand has been a solid starter and can play both safety positions. He is very steady and won't be beaten much. His only knock is that he doesn't generate many turnovers. My line of thinking though is that the Jets defense is good enough. They don't need to overpay for defensive production. It's better to overpay for offensive production when Rex can get good results with average players. 3 years for approximately $9 mil.
Hakeem Nicks, WR - I've bounced with this one quite a bit. I can make a case for Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, and Hakeem Nicks. I leave out Eric Decker because I think he's going to be overpaid. Nicks is the best of these three WRs when he's healthy. Except the when he's healthy scares people. I go with Nicks because I think Rice is even more of an injury problem than Nicks and for whatever reason I think Rice wants a one-year deal to try and cash in after coming off yet another injury shortened season. I don't only give Nicks a deal, but I give him a multiyear deal because I think the Jets can use some continuity here. Except I don't give him a huge signing bonus. 4 years for approximately $29 mil. There would only be about a $4 mil signing bonus included and instead there would be larger roster bonuses in 2016 and 2017. That way his cap hit can actually look like $6 mil in 2014, $6 in 2015, $8 mil in 2016, and $9 mil in 2017. Yet with the roster bonuses coming in 2016 and 2017, he's not a bad cut if he doesn't work out within the next year or two.
Rodger Saffold, OG - Many think of him as a tackle, but he's a much better guard than tackle. He moves well and still has good enough strength to play inside. Adding Saffold solidifies at least one of the guard positions while giving Colon the inside track at the other. An extra benefit to Saffold? If Ferguson does go down, or he is gone after 2014, Saffold can slide over and allow Colon and another player (you'll see in draft section) to play the guard spots. "Finhead, you're a genius" is probably what you're thinking right about now. Well, thank you and I already know that. Lets stick to my modest though and look at Saffold as strictly as a guard though just for this year's depth chart. 5 years for approximately $25 mil.
Colt McCoy, QB - I don't think the Jets can win many games if Matt Simms is forced to start. I don't think the Jets can win many games if McCoy is forced to start. I do think McCoy does give a better chance than Simms though. 2 years, $1.6 mil.
Now I already know what you're thinking. You're probably upset that with all the cap room the Jets have, I'm only projecting them to spend about $25 mil between re-signings and free agency, not including the franchise tag on Nick Folk. My response you ask? Well, I don't see why that is a bad thing! This allows the Jets to spend maybe about $32 million after the draft and leaves plenty of room for them to carry over for the future cap and allow for more room to re-sign their own players like Wilkerson while being active in free agency in years ahead. That way if the Jets want to become super sexy and go after big-time guys they can make runs for people like Malcom Floyd, Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, Von Miller, and other big names if they hit the market. If I am Idzik, which I am today, I don't want to spend so much this year for the sake of spending and force myself to the sideline next year.
Rd 1) WR Marqise Lee, USC - I still like Lee a lot and I think he's a beautiful fit for the Jets. He's the best route runner in the class and people seem to forget this kid isn't just reliable, but he can make plays.
Rd 2) TE, Troy Niklas, ND - He's really not that far beyond Ebron and Amaro. I like his run blocking better than both even. Niklas being added to the newly acquired Scott Chandler quickly turns this position of weakness into a strength and does so at good cost.
Rd 3) OG, Cyril Richardson, Baylor - A big-bodied guard that can actually move pretty good for a man his size if he improves his technique. The kid has a lot of strength as well.
Rd 3) OLB, Adrian Hubbard, Alabama - Not exactly a sack master that many people want, but he's a good all-around player that can probably contribute pretty well as a rookie. He can hold his own in coverage for a LB as well so that will help the Jets.
Rd 4) OT, Seantrel Henderson, Miami - I don't see him as a day one starter, but not many picks here are. He's good depth though and because he has very good potential, a year or two as a backup can get him to improve his consistency and prepare himself as the heir to Ferguson.
Rd 5) CB, Aaron Colvin, OU - He'd have gone higher in this draft if he didn't tear his ACL. He very well may miss the 2014 season, but the potential of Colvin is well worth the pick. He fits the Jets system very well with good ability to press and play man. This is the pick that makes me feel comfortable about cutting Cromartie next year if he struggles again. This is where everyone picks Dri Archer. So why didn't I do it? Because when all the fans and their mothers all pick Dri Archer for all 32 NFL teams in the 5th round, he's probably going earlier. I don't think Archer will be here at this pick.
Rd 6) RB, Storm Johnson, UCF - He needs to run north/south more than he does, but he's a good all-around back that unlike Ivory, has the ability to contribute as a pass catcher as well.
Rd 7) WR, Allen Hurns, Miami - He tends to catch the ball with his body too much and only has average top end speed, but he does a lot of other things well enough to make him valuable. He's a good route runner, has good ability to adjust his body to make the tough catch, and has a good awareness for the sideline. Despite only having average top end speed, he accelerates quickly and this is what allows him to get behind defenses. He's a scrappy receiver too and makes a lot of plays on the sidelines and in the middle of the field. He's willing to take a hit and fights for every yard.
Now because some of you may have had to suffer through all this and became pissed off, I'll leave you with one little tidbit. Everyone here is aware of how Tom
Bieber Brady imitates and often looks like Justin Bieber. After Bieber's arrest, we're all now aware that Justin Bieber looks awfully like Miley Cyrus without makeup. Does this mean in essence, Tom Brady looks like an older Miley Cyrus without makeup? Just food for thought next time you see Tommy Ray Cyrus Brady out there on the football field.
Since everyone is doing it, I'll throw in a starting depth chart along with a few backup positions for the players I acquired so you can see a quick glance of the success/failure of my genius plan.
QB: Geno Smith, Coly McCoy, Bryn Renner (UDFA, yes I just went there!)
FB: Tommy Bohanon
WR: Hakeem Nicks, Marqise Lee, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Allen Hurns
TE: Troy Niklas, Scott Chandler
LT: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Seantrel Henderson
LG: Rodger Saffold, Brian Winters
C: Nick Mangold
RG: Willie Colon / Cyril Richardson
RT: Austin Howard
DE: Muhammed Wilkerson, Leger Douzable
NT: Damon Harrison
OLB: Calvin Pace / Adrian Hubbard
FS: Chris Clemons
SS: Dawan Landry
For the record, you may have an urge to yell at me for including people like Douzable, Bellore, and Walls on the depth chart when they're free agents. I fully realize that, but I am not going to include a breakdown of how the Jets should sign a bunch of backup players/special teams contributors for minimum salaries. I limited my cheap signings (like Pace and Colon) to those that are likely to still fight for starting positions. Otherwise I can do a breakdown of 30+ minimum salaried players the Jets could bring in to fight for backup positions and special teams positions. I mention these Jets players under the assumption they're re-signed rather than trying to explain why the Jets signing Nolan Carroll to an $800k contract is a good idea because he's a good #4 CB and a very good special teams player. I'm writing a Fan Post not a novel.