Throughout the day yesterday teams throughout the league agreed to terms with NFL Free Agents that will become official today at 4 p.m. The biggest name to reportedly agree to terms on a contract with a new team was Kirk Cousins.
Kirk Cousins was without a doubt the biggest name on the market and he will sign with the Minnesota Vikings for a 3 year 84 million dollar deal with every penny of that contract guaranteed to Cousins.
That deal had a huge impact on how yesterday played out for a few teams around the league, especially The New York Jets.
The Jets were the favorites along with the Minnesota Vikings to land the prized free agent but with Cousins scheduled to meet Minnesota first, they were prepared to move to their contingency plans if bad news was delivered. The bad news was sent to the Jets and they moved their attention elsewhere.
This offseason the Jets have $89,879,171 million dollars available in their cap space this offseason, the most in the NFL, according to Over The Cap. A deal the Jets would have given to Cousins would have been about 3 years 90 million with an average salary around 30 million a year. If the Jets were to sign Cousins that would eat up around 30 million dollars to spend this offseason, leaving them with just about 60 million to spend in free agency and the draft.
60 million in cap space is still a lot of money to spend and would be the 6th most cap space in the NFL, but the Jets have a lot of holes to fill, so the silver lining of missing out on Cousins is the ability to fill a lot of holes in short order and that is exactly what the Jets did throughout the day yesterday.
Immediately after the Jets lost out on Kirk they turned their focus to Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings former first-round pick from 2014 who has missed the last two seasons due to a serious knee injury, but he had proven himself as a solid QB and is only 25 years old.
The Jets had been working throughout the day with Bridgewater on a deal to bring him to New York but that process did not stop them from agreeing to terms with what seemed like a dozen other players throughout the day.
The first deal that was reported seemed inevitable as the Jets and veteran Josh McCown came to terms on a 1-year deal worth 10 million dollars. The Jets and McCown were open about wanting to reunite because of everything he brings to the table but I don’t think anyone believes he is worth 10 million dollars.
McCown was great last year with the Jets and definitely is someone you want on your team as a locker room guy and as a solid backup QB but I’m sorry, he is not worth 10 million dollars. Last year he signed a 6 million dollar deal with a 100,000 dollar bonus each game he started. That is the type of deal that should’ve been agreed upon. the extra 4 million dollars on this year’s deal should be spent elsewhere.
After McCown, things only escalated on the Jets front. They agreed to a 3-year deal with Isaiah Crowell shortly after they worked out the McCown deal. Crowell has spent the past 4 seasons with the Cleveland Browns and has done extremely well the past two seasons averaging 4.46 yards per carry and running for a total of 1805 yards.
Crowell is only 25 and will most likely be the lead back in a committee backfield for the Jets next season with Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, and/or possibly a running back from this years NFL Draft. Crowell’s salary was not reported by anyone but it is probably 3-5 million dollars per season which is more than fair for a man of his talents and age.
The moves continued on after Crowell as the Jets made arguably the biggest move of the day for them signing lockdown cornerback, Trumaine Johnson. Trumaine Johnson has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Rams but was released because the Rams acquired Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib.
Johnson has been one of the best corners in the league for the past few years and is definitely worth the big money the Jets reportedly gave to him. The length of the deal has not been reported but it is expected to have an average salary of 15 million dollars per year. I would expect the length to be 3-5 years but it was a smart deal to make.
If the Jets can resign Morris Claiborne, who was their best corner last season, they will have a scary defensive backfield with veteran Buster Skrine, and young safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the lineup.
After the Jets agreed to terms with Trumaine Johnson they finally came to an agreement with Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater agreed to a one year deal but the salary was not reported by anyone in particular. ESPN expects the deal to be worth 5-6 million dollars with a lot of incentives attached as well.
The Bridgewater signing is smart because he is young, has a lot of upside, and will be looking to reestablish himself as a starting NFL Quarterback. The biggest question is his health. The injury Bridgewater suffered was not an ordinary ACL tear and he almost lost his leg, players have returned from injuries like this but guys like Robert Griffin III who had more talent but could never regain his form.
I think this was a smart move by the Jets, my only question is, will they still take a QB in the first round of this years NFL Draft?
There are talented guys available but they all have just as many question marks as Bridgewater and the Jets could use that pick to fill a hole in another area of need. This is a question that most fans and analysts will have different answers to and we will not know what the Jets will do until they make their pick in April.
I personally think the Jets should roll the dice with Teddy and draft the best player available when their turn comes in the NFL Draft.
Getting back to the moves made by the Jets today; they also agreed to a deal with former Tennessee Titans Linebacker Avery Williamson. This deal will bring in Williamson to replace Demario Davis who had a solid season in his return to the Jets but is 29 and was looking for a contract the Jets were not willing to hand out.
Williamson is only 26 and has been a solid contributor each year in the league. It was reported that he recently shut down a 4 year 12 million dollar deal from the Titans, so he and the Jets probably agreed on a deal 2-4 years in length with an average salary around 4-5 million dollars per year.
This deal will go under the radar because Williamson is not a big name but he will be a part of the youth movement the Jets have been moving towards.
Although these deals are not official they are basically set in stone and will go through at 4 p.m. today. Now once all of these deals go through the Jets will have lost a lot of salary cap room.
Let’s see how much money the Jets will have to spend once these deals go through. To do this we will add up the known salaries that the Jets have agreed to and the higher salary that I had guessed for each player without a known number available and subtract it from the $89,879,171 million in cap space the Jets started the offseason with.
- Johnson- 15 million dollars
- McCown- 10 million dollars
- Bridgewater- 6 million dollars
- Crowell- 5 million dollars
- Williamson-5 million dollars
That is a total of 41 million dollars, not an exact measurement but that leaves the Jets with just about 49 million dollars to spend on other free agents and their future draft picks. The five players I listed above are solid acquisitions but the Jets still have holes at cornerback, linebacker, the offensive and defensive lines, and tight end.
Later today when these moves become official the Jets will be in a good spot to fill the holes I listed above throughout the rest of the offseason.