With the signings of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Darron Lee, the offseason roster work is largely complete. Those signings came at a cost. Once both contracts are officially submitted to league offices for approval the Jets will have approximately $1 million in cap space left for the 2016 season. Subtract the $1 million needed to account for the two additional players which will be counted against the cap during the season over the top 51 calculation that applies in the offseason. Subtract an additional $1 million to account for the practice squad. Then subtract an additional $2 million or so, at a minimum, that teams need to operate during the season to account for replacements for injured players. That brings the Jets to a working salary cap deficit of at least $3 million that will need to be accounted for by the time the season opens.
$3 million is not a lot of money under the salary cap. It can easily be created with a single restructuring of one of the higher salaried players on the team. Perhaps that is what will transpire. However, roster cuts are also a possibility, and the only realistic roster cuts that can save the Jets the requisite $3 million are Nick Folk (ok, technically Folk only saves $2.75 million) and Breno Giacomini ($5 million). Both have competition for their roster spots this year, Folk in the form of UDFA kicker from Duke University Ross Martin, and Giacomini from backups Ben Ijalana, Brent Qvale and possibly 5th round draft choice Brandon Shell.
What is noteworthy about Giacomini is he has not been able to take the field either in minicamp or training camp as of yet due to back problems. The Jets are on record as saying his back issues will prevent Giacomini from taking the field in the near future. In his absence Qvale and Ijalana have been taking snaps. The Jets have in the past waxed eloquent in particular about Qvale's potential. With Breno perhaps the weakest link on a potentially shaky offensive line, and with Breno unable to take the field to defend his spot, a big opportunity is there for somebody to wrest the starting right tackle position away.
Salary cap space needs to be created. If the Jets want to do it with roster cuts, Breno is the biggest chunk of space that is realistic to cut. Breno is currently unable to play, and the Jets don't know when he'll be back. Trouble is brewing for Giacomini. Does anyone on the roster have what it takes to seal his fate?