With a deep draft and sky-rocketing FA prices, I felt the best approach to this offseason would be to build depth through the middle rounds of the draft. Since we are still not to the point where we are 1 or 2 players away from contention I also looked to sign younger talent that can contribute long term if they work out. I am not a "cap man" so I took a very simplistic approach to that area.
Initial Cap - $23,608,558
I don’t think any justification is necessary here. If you aren’t cutting these three you should be ashamed of yourself.
Mark Sanchez - $8,300,000
Santonio Holmes - $8,250,000
Mike Goodson – $1,316,666
Cap after Cuts - $41,475,224
I don’t believe the team is at a point yet where we acquire all of our needs in one offseason. These three will be fairly productive while we work towards getting to the next level.
Willie Colon – $1,800,000 – 1 year
Austin Howard - $4,000,000/yr – 2 years
Calvin Pace - $1,100,000 – 1 year
Antonio Cromartie – Again, I am not good with the cap, but he should be restructured since what we are paying him is ridiculous. I am not including that restructure in my cap numbers.
Cap after Extensions - $34,575,224
I generally like to avoid taking premier players in FA. Free Agency is for filling holes. Jairus Byrd is the exception to that. He will command a ton of money for a FS, but it could do wonders for our secondary. Also, if we follow the "Art of War" philosophy, the fact that we are taking him from another AFC East team makes it worth the price. The rest are a solid group of younger, mid-tier free agents that will help us fill those remaining holes.
Brandon Pettigrew – TE - $6,500,000/yr – 3 years
This contract is being based off the Dennis Pitta signing setting the standard for TEs
James Jones – WR - $5,000,000/yr – 2 years
This contract is based off the Riley Cooper signing setting the standard for #2 WRs
Jairus Byrd – FS - $8,200,000/yr – 4 years
The rumor mill has him looking for a 8+ million deal.
Perry Riley – ILB - $3,000,000/yr – 3 years
Final Cap: $11,875,224
This leaves just under 7 million for the draft, and another 5 for mid-season moves.
Trades were calculated using the trade value chart from DraftTek. Values are shown with the picks. Overall strategy was to maximize mid-round draft position in this extraordinarily deep draft, while putting us in position to get BPA and meet the needs of the team.
Round 1 pick 18 (900) and round 5 pick 142 (35) – (total value 935)
Cleveland Browns round 1 pick 26 (700) and round 3 pick 71 (235) – (total value 935)
Round 2 pick 49 (410), round 3 pick 80 (190), and round 7 pick 210 (7.4) - (total value 607.4)
Tennessee Titans round 2 pick 42 (480), round 4 pick 108 (78), round 5 pick 139 (36.5) and round 7 pick 205 (9.4) – (total value 603.9)
Draft was performed using the DraftTek.com automated draft simulator. I changed four of the seven picks using the following guidelines: That I could trade for any player picked after the Jets or any player picked less than 5 spots higher who also was deemed a "reach" pick with a value higher than -10. This method ensured that the draft would be realistic if not even just a bit conservative.
Round 1 pick 26 – Kelvin Benjamin - WR
Geno needs a big target. Kelvin is a big target. Needs some refining but could turn in to a great #1
Round 2 pick 42 – Kyle Van Noy – OLB
Provides an immediate upgrade to our pass rush. I have to admit he is a "hometown" pick, but the guy is a force to be reckoned with.
Round 3 pick 69 – Ka’Deem Carey – RB
Solid back who also has some decent receiving skills.
Round 3 pick 71 – Troy Niklas – TE
Great value here for a TE in the mold of Gronk (hopefully not as injury prone)
Round 4 pick 108 – Chris Davis – CB
Good corner that adds depth to a developing unit.
Round 4 pick 111 – Brett Smith – QB
Small school QB with a ton of heart. The kid never gives up. I highly encourage you to look him up.
Round 5 pick 139 – Billy Turner – OT
Big bodied tackle that provides depth and could possibly develop as a starter, given enough time.
Round 5 pick 161 – Cody Latimer – WR
Project receiver that could battle for the #4 receiver spot.
53 man roster:
Here is how the 53 man roster could shape up with this. Note that this is not a depth chart as several of these positions would likely be determined through training camp competitions.
TE - Brandon Pettigrew (FA), Troy Niklas (R), Zach Sudfeld
RT - Austin Howard, Oday Aboushi
RG - Willie Colon, William Campbell
LG - Brian Winters, Billy Turner (R)
LT - D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Ben Ijalana
RDT - Sheldon Richardson, TJ Barnes
ROLB - Kyle Van Noy (R), Antwan Barnes
K - Nick Folk
P - Ryan Quigley
LS - Tanner Purdum
As you can see, this plan will add to the teams depth while providing for future growth. We would be competitive this year and have the opportunity to find the final pieces the following year to make a strong Super Bowl push. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets Jets!!