The formerly salary-cap challenged New York Jets head into the 2014 offseason with an abundance of cap space, granting general manager John Idzik supreme flexibility in who to target during free agency.
The Jets have several key roster decisions to make, specifically regarding players already under contract, like Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes. But New York also needs to address its current crop of in-house free agents, which includes few building blocks for the future.
The viability of the Jets roster is based on youth. New York enjoyed a resurgence on defense in 2013, mainly because of high-octane performances from rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and third-year defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.
Idzik figures to remain proactive in deepening the Jets' talent pool with young players, adding emphasis on the upcoming draft. New York's most pressing draft needs will influence which in-house free agents it opts to bring back next season and whom it choose to cut ties with.
A majority of the restricted and unrestricted free agents slotted on the Jets' 2013 depth chart would be relatively inexpensive to re-sign, further enabling Idzik's flexibility this offseason.
The following slideshow examines which restricted and unrestricted free agents the Jets should keep for the 2014 season:
*All salary cap numbers courtesy of OvertheCap.com