AGOP: Avoiding the decade-long drought

I wanted to throw some facts out there (with my thoughts in parentheses) before I got into the weeds with my plan

  • We haven’t made the playoffs since 2010. The next batch of NFL playoff games will take place in 2020 (That’s a long time)
  • 4 of the last 8 Conference championship teams have featured a QB on a rookie contract. Of those 4 teams, 3 of the other 4 have featured one of Tom Brady or Drew Brees (So the odds seem to be best when you have a rookie QB or a HOF one)
  • We have Sam Darnold (He’s good)
  • We have nearly 100 million in cap space (That’s a lot of money)

Long story short, it’s time to start trying to win games instead of kicking the can down the road and talking about all the wins that we’ll have tomorrow. The goal of this AGOP is to accomplish that. According to OverTheCap we currently sit at $93,124,882 in cap space; let’s party.

The cuts:


  • Maccagnan already covered the obvious ones and there isn’t any significant money left to be saved. I could cut Crowell, but his replacement would probably cost me more. I could cut Winters, but again his replacement is going to cost me more. I could cut Rashaad Robinson, but it’s only 2 mill and my guess is that he stays in real life, so I’ll leave him rostered until camp and if he doesn’t show something then he can be cut then.

Updated cap space: $93,124,882

Internal Signings:

Henry Anderson (DT/DE): 4 years, 28 million (14 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 7 million)

Darryl Roberts (CB/S): 3 years, 12 million (6 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 3 million)

Jason Myers (K): 3 years, 4.5 million (3 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 1.5 million)

Jonotthon Harrison (C): 3 years, 7 million (3 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 2 million)

Brent Qvale (OT): 3 years, 7 million (3 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 2 million)

Dakota Dozier (OG): 3 years, 6 million (3 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 1.5 million)

Neville Hewitt (LB): 2 years, 3 million (1 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 1 million)

Brandon Copeland (Edge): 2 years, 3 million (1 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 1 million)

  • Most of the players here were signed as depth. The lone exceptions to this were Anderson (who I think is a solid pass rushing interior lineman), Myers (who showed an ability to kick in the northeast winter), and Harrison (more on him later, but at the minimum is a guy who can effectively snap the ball to the QB and I didn’t think he was a complete liability out there last year. Did I think I’d ever be bringing my center bar that low? No, but then Spencer Long happened)

Updated cap space: $74,124,882

External Signings:

Rodger Saffold (LG): 4 years, 52 million (26 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 14 million)

  • So, yea, Saffold is really good at a position that we could really use. PFF had him as their 8th ranked guard this year and I always like the idea of adding guys from winning teams because I feel like their preparation rubs off on other guys. Adding him to our line is an immediate and significant upgrade and I’ll pay top dollar for his services

Adrian Amos (SS): 5 years, 50 million (30 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 10,000,000)

  • I’m well aware that this contract is going to be the one that gets me the most heat, so let’s start with the obvious: yes, I know that Amos plays SS and that we have Adams at SS and Maye at FS. Despite that there are a few reasons that I want Amos.
    • First, the safety market is really deep this year and I think that the bigger ‘names’ in FA will push his number down a little bit.
    • Second, he was PFF’s 8th ranked safety last season and their 7th ranked coverage safety.
    • Third, he was PFF’s 15th ranked pass rushing safety.
    • Fourth, two guys above him in pass rushing were Adams (5th) and Maye (1st).
    • Why all that matters: I think playing the three of them on the field at the same time gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of both coverages and blitz. I also think that utilizing larger safeties give you a better chance of stopping the run out of a base nickel and gives you a better chance against larger slot receivers/tight ends. I’ll explain the larger defensive scheme that I’m envisioning later in the post, but as a spoiler a big nickel base defense is the lynchpin of it all and that begins with having 3 very talented and versatile safeties.

Shaq Barrett (EDGE): 4 years, 35 million (16 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 8,000,000)

  • While Barrett didn’t have enough snaps to qualify, his PFF grade as a pass rusher would’ve ranked 24th and would’ve been smack dab between Terrelle Suggs and Chris Long. It also would’ve been better than Joey Bosa or Danielle Hunter (among others). Barrett has never seen significant snaps and he’s a risk because of that, but I don’t think we’ll be coming away with Justin Houston or Trey Flowers and I think he’s the best "buy" of the guys behind them. Spottrac has him at 4 years, 30 but I’m expecting that he gets a bit more

Kareem Jackson (Boundary CB): 3 years, 30 million (15 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 10,000,000)

  • There are 2 important things to note on Kareem Jackson. 1, he is no longer young as he turns 31 in April. 2, he is still very good with PFF ranking him as the 14th overall cornerback last season. In an ideal world there would be a younger CB worth splurging on but there isn’t, and I think that Jackson’s age will get him here at a number less than the value he adds on the field. Robert Alford got 3 years, 24 with 13.5 guaratneed and I think the Jackson gets a bit more than that so this seems about right. Sign me up.

Danny Amendola (Slot WR): 2 years, 4 million (1.5 million guaranteed, first year cap hit of 1.5 million)

  • If Adam Humphrees is going to get 10 million a year then I want no part of the WR market. Amendola is not great, but he is competent. I also think that his less than stellar play in Miami and his age will drive his market down. I’ll settle for competent and cheap over "potential" and high priced. I think the better play is to lean on the draft with a hedge at the WR spot, so that’s exactly what I’m doing here.

Updated cap space: $30,624,882

Internal Extensions:

Leo Williams (DT/DE): 5 years, 60 million (30 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 9,000,000)

  • Leo isn’t Aaron Donald, but he is talented. In all honesty he’s probably our second best defensive player even if he isn’t the monster that we were promised. I’m down to keep Big Cat around and 12 mill a year sounds about right to me as it places him right around the contract that Geno Atkins signed a few years back (Atkins is more talented, but inflation). The guarantees are also top 5 for interior DL but that doesn’t worry me as much with a guy like Leo who by all accounts appears to be a high character guy who loves football.

Robby Anderson (Outside WR): 4 years, 40 million (20 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 8,000,000)

  • If Enunwa and Humphrees are getting 9 and 10 million then that’s right around where Robby should be. I’m not taking the chance that he lights it up with Sam this year and we find ourselves paying noticeably more or watching him leave. I like keeping homegrown talent and Robby meets that bill.

Updated cap space: $14,624,882

A (Pre-Draft Day) TRADE:

Jets trade a 5th round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Duke Johnson

Updated cap space: $11,574,882

A Draft Day scenario:

The Washington -Redacteds- want Kyler Murray. Dan Synder loved RG3. Kyler Murray is less arrogant RG3. Washington had a pretty strong roster and then Alex Smith got Theismann’d and now they’re stuck relying on the mediocre (on his best day) QB that is Case Keenum to save their season. I know they just got Case Keenum, but nobody passes on a franchise QB for a Case Keenum that costed only a 7th round pick. On draft day, the Cardinals decided to keep Josh Rosen and take Quinnen Williams following by the 49ers think ingthey’re Super Bowl contenders and scooping Nick Bosa right up. That leaves the Jets sitting pretty at pick 3 at which point…..

And a Draft Day Trade:

The New York Jets trade the 3rd overall pick and Brian Winters to the Washington -Redacteds- for the 15th overall pick and RG Brandon Scherff.

  • Why does Washington do this?
    • Because Kyler Murray. A great RG is great, but a franchise QB is a franchise QB. I really think that Washington ends up being the ones who sell the farm to get a QB and in this scenario selling the farm means parting with All-Pro lineman Brandon Scherff who is about to demand a huge contract. To ease the loss of Scherff the Jets send Brian Winters as a guy they can plug in to ease the blow
  • Who do the New York Jets do this?
    • Because this draft is deep and a solid offensive playmaker can be found at 15, and because Brandon Scherff is 27 year old all-pro lineman. Pairing Scherff with Saffold is going to create a wicked interior line that is going to keep Sam upright and get our run game boogieing. I’m sure we could get some picks from Washington, but I’d rather the sure thing in Scherff. (In real life I think we’d probably fetch a third or more on top of this, but I didn’t want to push the "realism" since Scherff is already a bit out of the box to begin with)
  • Other notes: Scherff comes with a 2019 cap hit of $12,525,000 and is on the last year of his deal. In order to lock him up for the foreseeable future and reduce that cap hit a new contract is worked out for Scherff with the following parameters:
    • 5 years, 65 million (35 guaranteed, first year cap hit of 7,000,000)

Updated cap space: $11,074,882

Draft Selections - Bring on the super athletes (Draft picks selected based on and my own estimation of when I think guys will be taken. Ex: They have Hock as a third rounder and I can’t see that happening but most of their projections seem pretty reasonable)

Round 1 (from Washington): TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

  • Yes, a tight end in the first round. Hockenson is arguably the best/most well rounded tight end to enter the draft in recent years. Hock is not only a great pass catcher, but he’s a mauler in the run game and brings a toughness that his team needs. He’s also a much better athlete than a lot of people give him credit for ( and it translates to the field with multiple clips of him hurdling guys as if no one told him he isn’t Ezekial Elliot available via a quick google. Pair him with Herndon, who is already a mismatch in his own right, in a 2 tight end heavy offense and require defenses to find two guys worth playing that can cover these types of athletes. He’s also a mauler in the run game and I’m expecting him to take snaps as the lead blocking fullback because of that
  • What do I see him as at the next level: Suped up Chris Conley that finds himself as a universally considered top 5 player at his position

Round 3: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

  • Parris Campbell is a flawed prospect and no one is going to mistake him for a refined receiver, so why am I taking him this high? Because Parris Campbell is the kind of fast that makes fast guys look slow ( and he’s the definition of a gamebreaker if used right, and those types of guys are hard to find. I mean Parris Campbell does things with the ball in his hand that I still can’t quite understand the physics of (see this video at 7:30 as I’m still not quite sure how he made this look so easy:
  • What do I see him as at the next level: The perfect fit for the Miami Albert Wilson role that Gase likes, but with Campbell it’s as if Al Wilson had Tyreek Hill’s open field skills

Round 3 (from New Orleans): David Sills, WR, WVU

  • You know the expression "When that guy is covered he’s still open"? That’s David Sills. Guy high points the ball as well as anyone that I’ve seen in recent years and he complements it with nice size and a strong vertical ( I also love that he combines a QBs mind with the size of a bully ball possession receiver
  • What do I see him as at the next level: I hate to make this comp because it might look like it’s because they look alike, but he reminds me of Jordy Nelson in how well he high points the ball

Round 4: Connor McGovern, C, Penn State

  • I really don’t want Jonotthon Harrison playing center, but I don’t see us coming away with Paradis or Morse, so in walks Connor McGovern. Want to know why I like Connor McGovern? Because he’s a super athlete for his position ( that plays with some edge. I’m hoping he beats Harrison out this year, but if his talent level isn’t there yet then he’s a nice piece of clay that any oline coach should be thrilled to have
  • What do I see him as at the next level: I’m not going to pretend to know the intricacies of oline play well enough to give a player comp, but I think he’s a serviceable starter with athleticism that gives hope that might be so be much more

Round 5: N/A (traded for Duke Johnson)

Round 6: N/A (traded to New Orleans with Teddy to get the 3rd round pick)

Round 7: Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame

  • Miles Boykin is arguably the best athlete in the class that no one is talking about ( I’m doubtful he’ll be there this late, but firstpick has him available and I assume they know more than I do. Boykin has a boatload of potential and I’m excited to add him to the receiver group as a no-risk flyer
  • What do I see him as at the next level: A boom or bust prospect. He has the in-the-air ball skills, size, and speed needed to be a different maker at the next level, but he doesn’t seem to have put it all together yet. Hopefully he does, but if he doesn’t then it’s only a 7th

Draft pool cost based on the picks owned per Over the Cap: $4,613,495

Updated cap space: $6,461,387

The expected schemes

Offense: We’re going pass heavy and we’re going two tight-end heavy. Sam is going to stand behind that revamped oline and he’s going to pick teams apart throwing sideline to sideline in a west coast offense. We’re going to trot out offensive personnel groupings such as Robby, Quincy, Herndon, Hockenson, and Duke Johnson and we’re going to force defenses to guess how they’re going to be deployed with options ranging from 3 tight ends (Quincy kicking inside on occasion) to power I (Q outside and Hock lead blocking) to 5 wide (motioning Duke out). We’re going to create mismatches and then we’re going to exploit them. The rookie wideouts will be eased in as they show they’re ready and in the meanwhile we’re going to manufacture some touches for Parris Campbell in as many ways as possible (bubble screens, kick offs, occasional routes out of the backfield, jet sweeps, etc.).

Defense: Big nickel is our base and Jamal and Amos are playing in a roaming roles like the one the Honey Badger thrived in back in Arizona. Wherever the ball is most likely to go is where they’re going to be playing and I’m taking those two guys over whatever the offense is planning to throw at us. We’re going to rely heavily on zone to minimize the impact of Trumaine and Kareem Jackson. We’re also going to generate pass rush through unique blitzes that take advantage of the idea that Maye, Adams, Amos, Avery, and Lee have shown an ability to pass rush in order to make up for the so-so edge rushers that we’re fielding. Is it the best defense? No, but it’s hard to field that with the pieces that we’re starting with and I think this is making the most of a "meh" starting point by thinking outside of the box. In the coming years we focus our draft efforts on improving CB and Edge and go from there.

Final Roster:





















































T. Johnson

K. Johnson




"Roam" DB

















Amendola (or whoever can field punts without putting the ball on the ground)

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