With their 2016 opponents now set, the sledding won't get any easier as they pulled a schedule of games including two of the toughest divisions: the AFC North and the NFC West. Most fans are now left worrying what the team's offseason plan may be with many key players expected to hit free agency in March. What will the Jets do now?
Part 1: Performance & Financial Based Cuts
Part 2: Restructuring
Part 3: Time To Sign
Part 4: Free Agency
Part 5: The Draft
Part 6: Overview
Some players might not need to be cut, but in order for them to stay with the Jets it would make the team most effective if they were to restructure their deals. Listed in order of most to least urgent…
D'Brickashaw Ferguson ($9.0 million cap savings from cut) - Brick is coming off one of his worst seasons. Sure, he's playing an important position and has been a stalwart for 10 years, but the Jets must consider their options from here. Brick's contract outpaced his play, and removing him from the books could represent a large cap savings when the Jets will want all the space they can muster. Expect Brick to be back, but to restructure his deal.
CAP SAVINGS - Roughly $3-6 million on restructure
Nick Mangold ($8.6 million cap savings for cut) - I cannot imagine the Jets want to rid themselves of Mangold since it's easy to see him having two to three more effective years. Mangold is in a good spot with the team and a better one to do a friendly restructure. All of his 2016 monies are clean in terms of "dead money" against the cap. He has roughly $3 million tied to offseason roster and workout bonuses. However, the Jets might want to spread out what they are paying him this year into a future year or two via some bonuses so they can scrape up more cap room now.
CAP SAVINGS - roughly $3-7 million on restructure
Potential cap savings on average restructures: $10 million
-Brandon Marshall has an easily restructured cap number which they might be able to push some of his $9.5 million 2016 salary into 2017 if they so choose.
-Sheldon Richardson is a name that many throw around as a potential trade or cut, but unless the trade value is right there's no sense moving him. Richardson's cap number of $3.2 million is tiny and imminently doable.
-If anyone is likely to be traded, it would be Dee Milliner. He represents a full $4 million hit in any scenario where the Jets cut him, but frees up roughly $2.1 million for any trade.
Assuming the Jets make all these moves, it could put them at almost $45 million under the cap, but would that be enough room for all the looming deals they need to hand out in free agency?