After years of pushing their salary cap problems forward, the New York Jets are paying the piper by the fistful in 2013.
A pair of last-minute moves (per ESPN's Rich Cimini)—releasing defensive tackle Sione Po'uha and restructuring the contract of wide receiver Santonio Holmes—have helped free up some much-needed cap space for the Jets.
Even with that and all the previous cuts from earlier this offseason—Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Jason Smith and Eric Smith—they still don't have a lot of money to make moves. That being said, they could still find some good value on the open market.
There's already a hot spot for all the news, rumors, analysis and grades for every move the Jets make, but what about the contracts themselves?
Estimated* Cap Space: $12,631,617 [March 22, 1:32 p.m. ET]
*This number can only be as accurate as the information given. Salary cap information is always fluid, and salary data is not always readily available. At times, this will be an approximate guess based on all available information, with Spotrac.com serving as the starting point. Spotrac will be used as frequently as possible.
LB Antwan Barnes: three-year, $3.3 million contract (via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News)
Contract Value Grade: A
Another low-risk high-reward signing for John Idzik, as the Jets land a once-talented recently-injured player in Barnes who can provide a boost at a position of huge need. The details of the contract make it easy to cut him if he can't stay healthy.
G Willie Colon: one-year, $1.2 million contract (via Adam Schefter of ESPN)
Cap Value Grade: A-
There are injury concerns around Willie Colon, so anything more than a one-year deal would have been a disappointment from this perspective. The money is low enough that if he is unable to stay healthy, the Jets aren't left hamstrung by a big contract. Another big win for the Jets.
RB Mike Goodson: three-year, $6.9 million contract (via Schefter)
Cap Value Grade: A-
For $2.3 million per year, the Jets found an explosive back who fits well in the West Coast offense and at $1 million per year less than what their former back, Shonn Greene, got from the Titans. Goodson has a boatload of potential if he can stay healthy and continue to hang onto the football (six fumbles in '09-'10, none in '12). Sounds like a big win for Idzik.
CB Antonio Cromartie: restructured contract, now counts for $6.52 million against the cap in 2013 (via OverTheCap.com)
Cap Value Grade: A-
This was not one of the contracts I expected to get redone. Cromartie was a little miffed that he got the stepchild treatment when the Jets were pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha in 2011, but he signed a contract anyway. The Jets get a player who has shown flashes of being one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL for cheaper than they had him before. As long as the restructure didn't add new years to the deal, this is a big win.
WR Santonio Holmes: restructured contract, now counts for $7.5 million against the cap in 2013 (via Brian Costello of the New York Post)
Cap Value Grade: B+
Thankfully, the Jets were able to get Holmes to come down off his perch as the top-paid wide receiver for the 2013 season. Now the Jets just have to hope he returns to form after a Lisfranc injury ended his 2012 season. By getting Holmes to restructure, the Jets save roughly $3.5 million on the cap and allow themselves a little bit of flexibility to make a signing or two if they are so inclined.
QB David Garrard: one year, $1 million (via the Star-Ledger)
Cap Value Grade: A
The Jets forked over $1 million with a $100,000 signing bonus to bring in a quarterback that could potentailly take the starting job away from a guy making 8.5 times that much in 2013. If he's not healthy, or doesn't stay healthy, this won't burn the Jets too bad.
Signings Awaiting Financial Information: Antonio Garay, Nick Folk
DT Sione Po'uha: released, saving $3.8 million off the cap
Cap Savings Grade: A+
Paying a 34-year-old nose tackle with a weak back as much as the Jets were scheduled to pay him made no sense. With what's been a bloodbath of an offseason, it's a surprise this didn't happen sooner. The Jets don't have many other great options at nose tackle, but Po'uha hasn't played more than 60 percent of the snaps in any season of his career.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.
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