Rich Cimini had an interesting note this morning when discussing the UDFA signings the Jets made this off-season. Each team is allocated $80,362 in signing bonuses for their UDFA class, they can spread this as much as they like and spend as much or as little of it as they please.
So how much of the Jets $80,362 did we actually spend? well it was the paltry sum of $4,000. $2,500 was given to DE Anthony Grady and $1,500 was given to fullback Chad Young, the rest of the UDFA class got absolutely nothing in signing bonuses.
This has been attributed to the fact we made all 12 selections. Obviously we had to sign 12 players and we also had to have space on the roster for all 12 as well. However in my mind, this would lead me to to want to really hand-pick the best of the best in the UDFA class, and give them a reason to sign, for say a $10,000 signing bonus. The better ones get the most money, for example Damon Harrison got $7,000 when he signed on a couple of years ago.
Rich goes on to say that the UDFA class was very much an afterthought. Which if true, would be a little bit of a worry considering the players still available after the draft. We're talking about players like Adrian Hubbard and Christian Jones, Antonio Richardson and Shayne Skov, Dion Bailey and Marcus Roberson. Every single one of those players I had with a 5th round grade or better, and many professional draft analysts agreed.
However to get those kinds of UDFA's you need to open up the wallet. Shayne Skov got a $7,500 bonus from the 49'ers. The Seahawks really opened things up by paying $5,000 to Bailey, but paying $15,000 to Jackson Jeffcoat, $15,000 to Andru Pulu and $12,500 to Chase Dixon.
Maybe the Jets didn't see the value in pursuing some of the top UDFA's in this class, however if it was an afterthought I hope we don't come to regret it. Some of the best teams paid for the priority free agents, and remember the 49'ers had the same number of selections as ourselves, and yet they still paid for a guy like Shayne Skov, who I think will prove to be a very valuable asset.