Joe Douglas has a lot of work to do to make the New York Jets a contender in 2022, and his Pre-Draft strategy is the most important factor in future success at this point in the offseason. You read that correctly: contender in 2022.
The Jets are under pressure to establish a stable contending team in 2022. There are no more excuses for Douglas – he needs to use all of the methods of roster building at his disposal, starting in 2022.
While all of the talk will be about the draft, who they will draft is irrelevant at this point. They still need to make trades and/or sign free agents before any talk of who they will draft is a viable one.
When it comes to trades, Douglas needs to find organizations that are cap-strapped and need to trade talent to get under the — or to a working — cap number.
According to Over The Cap, six NFL franchises are in the red (effective cap space), and an additional five have under $10 million. That’s almost half the league. As of right now, the Jets have approximately $38.4 million in effective cap space, and that number will only go up with cuts. Douglas will have to find some ways to trade for a veteran or two.
Free Agency Market
The second crucial step is free agency.
At 4 PM ET on March 16, the 2022 league year begins. However, what has colloquially become known as the “legal tampering” period begins on March 14. Douglas must begin contacting agents so he can formulate a draft strategy. That strategy cannot be formed until he knows which positions have been filled by free agents.
The best strategy for the Jets would be to fill as many holes as they can on defense so they won’t be forced to draft players on defense.
In the end, everything that happens before April 28th will shape the draft. That makes the time span between now and then much more important than the event itself.
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