The New York Jets have restructured the contracts of guard Laken Tomlinson, cornerback D.J. Reed and tight end Tyler Conklin. In the process the Jets freed up approximately $15.2 million under the 2023 NFL salary cap. That is the approximate cap room needed to add Aaron Rodgers to the roster if the Jets can work out a trade with the Green Bay Packers, and if Rodgers actually wants to play for the Jets. While the clearing of enough cap space to get the Rodgers deal done is probably not coincidental, it also may not mean any deal is imminent. The new league year begins on March 15, and with or without Rodgers, the Jets will want to have some cap space to sign free agents and/or re-sign their own.
Tomlinson, Reed and Conklin, along with recently restructured tight end C.J. Uzomah, were all Jets’ 2022 free agent acquisitions. For better or worse, the restructuring of these players’ contracts moves dead money from 2023 to later years and will likely add an additional year before the Jets will be willing to cut any of them, should their performances so merit.
These are not likely to be the last moves the Jets make to free up salary cap space in 2023. Players like Corey Davis, Carl Lawson and Quinnen Williams are in the last year of their deals. They can be traded, cut or extended to create significant additional cap space. In addition, C.J. Mosley, John Franklin-Myers and Jordan Whitehead have large enough contracts that restructuring or extending them might be something the Jets consider in order to free up even more space under the salary cap.