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The biggest piece of dead weight was already taken care of earlier this offseason and it got much better yesterday.
By cutting four players (Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Jason Smith and Eric Smith), the Jets went from $23 million over the salary cap to $7 million under it. It was a great start to an offseason that should be headlined with more big name players leaving than coming.
Lets face it, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace are over the hill so getting rid of them will make the Jets both more talented and younger. No one will lose sleep over either of the Smiths being gone either. Overall it was a good start to the offseason by new general manager John Idzik.
The cap room created by the Jets from these moves still won't be enough to fill all their needs, leaving the door open to more departures. Looking at the Jets' salary cap there isn't much they can do to free up a ton of space with one or two moves.
The biggest cap savings would come from cutting Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Sione Pouha and Tim Tebow. I'd highly advise against Cromartie and Pouha, but the other two wouldn't exactly be catastrophic.
Tebow will be gone (as we will get to in a bit), but Holmes is the more interesting of the two. If the Jets are able to bring back Braylon Edwards for significantly less than the $1.25 million New York would save from cutting Holmes, then I wouldn't argue that Edwards is the choice. Holmes is never going to be a number one receiver and is more likely to be a headache than a superstar.
The Jets should have let Holmes walk two years ago and signed Braylon, but instead they signed Holmes to a long-term disaster of a deal. If they can get Braylon for cheap they'd have him, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley as their top three. I wouldn't mind seeing Holmes leave in that situation.
There really aren't many other places for the Jets to turn at this point. The best remaining options for cap relief are Aaron Berry's $700k and Ellis Lankster's $655k if they're cut, but that's about it.
At most the Jets are looking at about $10 million in cap space to work with this offseason, unless Idzik is able to restructure some deals. The result will be an on-field product of very young and unfamiliar faces. As much as Jet fans may hate it, they're going to have to live with some unpopular decisions being made if they want to even sniff they playoffs this season.