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NY Jets: When The Axe May Fall

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With the release of Ryan Clady Jets fans may be wondering who's next, and when?

There are a number of candidates to be cut.  If the Jets intend to be players in the first days of free agency a number of cuts or restructurings will need to be made to clear cap space. So why haven't more cuts happened yet?

Aside from GM Mike Maccagnan's tendency to wait until the last possible moment to make roster moves there are other constraints to making moves before the start of free agency on March 9.  In particular, the Jets (and every other NFL team) are still in the 2016 league year, operating under 2016 salary cap constraints until March 9.  The Jets have virtually zero cap space left in 2016.  The consequence of this is that any player the Jets wish to cut that has any significant prorated bonus money on his contract beyond 2016 is effectively uncuttable until the start of the new league year on March 9.  The reason for this is that any such prorated bonus money for 2017 and beyond becomes immediately accelerated into the 2016 salary cap if a player is cut before March 9.  Such cuts would be post-June 1 cuts, so only half the prorated money would count against the 2016 cap, with the rest counting against the 2017 cap, but with the Jets out of 2016 cap space, anything beyond the most minimal prorated money getting accelerated into the 2016 cap would put the Jets over the cap for 2016, which of course is not permitted.

The upshot of all this is that we should not expect too many players to be cut prior to March 9.  In particular, the following players all have too much prorated bonus money to be cut in 2016. If any of these players are cut, it will come on March 9 at the earliest.  Only players who will create net cap space of $500,000 or more, after accounting for a minimal salary replacement on the roster, are listed :

Player

2017 Cap Savings

.

Eric Decker

$5.75 Million

Buster Skrine

$3.5 Million

Marcus Gilchrist

$4.63 Million

James Carpenter

$2.6 Million

Breno Giacomini

$4.5 Million

Steve McLendon

$2.17 Million

Nick Folk

$3 Million

That leaves the following players as the only players that can save the Jets more than $500,000 against the 2017 cap and have no significant prorated bonus money.  Some of these players are unlikely to be cut, but if any significant cuts are made prior to March 9 they will come from this list:

Player

2017 Cap Savings

.

Darrelle Revis*

$9 Million

Nick Mangold

$9.1 Million

Sheldon Richardson

$8.1 Million

Brandon Marshall

$7.5 Million

David Harris

$6.5 Million

Erin Henderson

$2.58 Million

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins

$1.14 Million

Khiry Robinson

$0.95 Million


*Revis has a minimal $333,333 amount of prorated bonus money.