Breaking Down the New York Jets' Salary Cap Situation Heading into Free Agency

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IMarch 3, 2014

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, right, reacts as he and general manager John Idzik speak to the media  during an NFL football news conference Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The NFL offseason is about to be officially underway, as free agency is set to commence in just over a week.

The New York Jets are expected to be one of the major players in the upcoming free-agency period, as the franchise has plenty of money to spend.

According to's Rich Cimini, Gang Green is $21.2 million under the NFL salary cap of $133 million. Moreover, Over the Cap indicates that the Jets would save $26.05 million if they were to cut ties with Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Mark Sanchez.

That means New York could potentially have a ridiculous $47.25 million to spend this offseason.

Bob Leverone/Associated Press

Before March 11 hits, though, expect the Jets to lock up starting right tackle Austin Howard to a long-term deal.

Howard has emerged as an anchor on the right side of the line in the last two seasons. At 26 years old, he has room to improve too.

Cimini also reports that the Jets are willing to shell out around $5 million per year to Howard and he is their top priority over the next week.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, New York is also looking to re-sign tight end Jeff Cumberland.

When March 11 does roll around, John Idzik and Co. will be looking to upgrade offensive skill positions and perhaps the defensive backfield.

After Jeremy Maclin was taken off the market last week, the receiving options in free agency dwindled.

However, expect the Jets to take a long look at the likes of Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Hakeem Nicks and perhaps Eric Decker

Steven Senne/Associated Press

On the defensive side of the ball, the Jets could look to acquire a top-notch safety in the next month. Jairus Byrd is likely to hit the open market after the Associated Press (h/t reported that he and the Bills failed to reach an agreement. Donte Whitner, T.J. Ward and Chris Clemons are other interesting names at safety. 

Whichever players New York does end up signing, expect them to make an immediate impact. 

With 12 picks in the draft and millions of dollars to spend, it's hard to see a situation where Gang Green enters the 2014 season without improvement.