New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas has done a good job of balancing the present and the future. Over the two offseasons he has led, Douglas has added talent to the Jets. At the same time, he has not been overly aggressive.
The Jets have a few young players who will be worth keeping around. As a result of Douglas passing on a few big-time free agents the last two years, the Jets are in a great position to retain their young core. Here’s an in-depth look at the New York Jets salary cap and what that amount of space means.
New York Jets Salary Cap: Space
Per Over The Cap, the Jets currently have the third-most cap space for both 2021 and 2022. After signing the rest of the draft class, which are the first three picks, the Jets will likely have much of the space available carried over into next year. This just adds to the already great amount of cap space the Jets will have available. Over the last two years now, Douglas has done a good job of creating space by using rollover cap.
New York Jets Salary Cap: Contract Extension Candidates
The Jets have three, young defensive linemen who should be prioritized. Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, and John Franklin-Myers are all coming off great years for the Jets. In a year of Jets football that was easy to forget, Williams, Fatukasi, and Franklin-Myers did give the team a formidable strength.
Williams was selected by the Jets in the 2019 NFL Draft with the third overall pick. Williams was a very highly-touted prospect. In his rookie season, he played through an injury. Last year, he broke out. He was one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
Williams will play this season at only 23 years old. He is now going to be playing in more of an attacking front which fits his skill set better. Williams will be a great pass rushing 3-technique defensive tackle for a long time. After the 2021 season, with three seasons of NFL experience, Williams will be eligible to get an extension. It should be a huge priority for Douglas and the Jets.
Fatukasi was drafted by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He did not play much as a rookie. In his second season, he got an opportunity and played great. This past year, he continued to build his game up and improve.
Fatukasi has turned into one of the best run-stopping nose tackles in the NFL. He will play this season at 26 years old. He deserves a ton of credit for attaining so much early success as a sixth-round draft pick. Fatukasi should absolutely be a player for Douglas to keep on the Jets for many years.
Franklin-Myers has been one of Douglas’ best additions. Franklin-Myers had a productive rookie season as a defensive end for the Rams in 2018. Surprisingly, he was released on cutdown day in 2019. Douglas then claimed him through waivers. Franklin-Myers was hurt in 2019 and did not play that season for the Jets.
This last season, he was one of the Jets best players. He was utilized on the edge for the Rams but last season he played more at defensive tackle for the Jets. Franklin-Myers is a great interior pass rusher. He turns 25 years old in September. Douglas should work hard to keep one of the best players he has added to the Jets in Franklin-Myers.
The Jets have struggled for many years getting draft picks right. In just two offseasons, Douglas has accumulated some talent in free agency, the draft, and off waivers. They have been diligent in free agency. Good free agents have signed with the Jets. Also, there have been chances to add more of the best players, but Douglas has not spent too much.
As a result, this puts the Jets in a good spot to keep Williams, Fatukasi, and Franklin-Myers. All three are young and have complementary strengths along the defensive front. Williams is a dominant 3-technique. Fatukasi will anchor the Jets’ run defense. Franklin-Myers will be a force as a pass rusher. Hopefully, these three are Jets for years to come, the cap space will be there to do so.