When the free agency frenzy finally begins, the Jets figure to be at the center of the storm. And all eyes will be on how hard they go after the quarterback they so desperately need.
But they have a ton of salary cap space to spend in other areas, including maybe on the 24 players they have on their roster who are approaching free agency. Here's a look at all their free agents-to-be, and their prospects of returning or finding potential riches somewhere else around the league:
Unrestricted free agents
QB Josh McCown -- He is a popular player coming off a career year, but he'll be 39 in July. The only way he returns is if the Jets strike out on Kirk Cousins and find their quarterback of the future with the sixth pick of the draft. Then McCown as a stop-gap solution and mentor makes perfect sense.
CB Morris Claiborne -- The Jets took a one-year flier on the former first-round pick, and he had a decent and mostly healthy season. He likely enhanced his value beyond the one-year, prove-it deal he signed with the Jets. He thinks he's found a home, though, and wants to stay. The Jets would make it happen for the right price.
LB Demario Davis -- When the Jets got him from Cleveland for Calvin Pryor, he wasn't even a lock to make the final roster. He not only made it, but had a good year and became a team leader. He took a huge pay cut to stick around, though. The Jets don't think he's worth as much as he might get elsewhere.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins -- He caught 50 passes (plus two others that were overturned on controversial replay rulings), and that's a miracle for a Jet tight end -- especially considering he seemed to be underused all year. He's 25 and still has untapped potential, especially now that he's turned his life around. He already turned down a two-year, $8 million deal that was short on guarantees and total value. Chances are the two sides will talk again and work something out.
C Wesley Johnson -- The Jets need offensive line help, and that may include finding a new center. Johnson was expected to be the heir apparent to Nick Mangold, but he was inconsistent last season. The good news for him is the offensive line market is weak, which means the Jets could still bring him back. Then again, on a weak market he could find more money elsewhere, too.
DE Kony Ealy -- Claimed off waivers, Ealy proved to be a valuable pass rusher, batting down a ton of passes at the line of scrimmage. He only had one sack, though, and the Jets need better production than that. He wants to return, but his price will be the key.
K Chandler Catanzaro -- He was OK, making 25 of 30 field goals, and his kickoffs were generally good. He didn't earn himself a long-term deal, though, so he'll likely have to return on a one-year contract to again prove his worth.
C Jonatthon Harrison -- He got plenty of playing time over the final two weeks at Johnson's expense, and he could be the starter next season if Johnson isn't re-signed. If not, he's valuable depth and as good as most of the depth players on the market.
OL Dakota Dozier -- The Jets saw some promise in the former fourth-round pick this past season. If nothing else, the 6-foot-4, 313-pounder is a solid depth player. His value shouldn't be too high, so he could be worth a bargain on a one- or two-year deal.
DT Mike Pennel -- The Jets like the big (6-foot-4, 332) versatile player who can play defensive tackle or defensive end in their 3-4. He's still only 26 with upside, and he could be useful with Muhammad Wilkerson about to be cut.
LB David Bass -- His 3 1/2 sacks tied for second on the Jets, which is ridiculous. Other than a depth and special teams player, he likely doesn't factor into their future plans. If he returns, it'll be at a low price.
LB Bruce Carter -- He plays well on special teams, but has no role in the Jets' defense and is about to turn 30. Unless he returns for the minimum, he's likely to move on.
LB Julian Stanford -- Same as Carter, only he'll be 28 in September. He's a valuable special teams player, but his price will have to be low.
S Terrence Brooks -- Another special team player. He likely won't get a lot of looks elsewhere, which means he figures to return with a chance to fight for a job in camp.
TE Chris Gragg -- Spent the season on injured reserve and the Jets likely have a few players in front of him (like Seferian-Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Eric Tomlinson). Maybe he gets a camp invitation, but nothing more.
DT Ed Stinson -- He played in four games before spending the rest of the season on IR. His best hope is to return as a backup for the minimum.
Restricted free agents
(Jets can keep their rights by tendering them at an amount still to be determined by the NFL and NFLPA. That would allow them to match any offer the player gets and receive draft-pick compensation if they don't.)
WR Quincy Enunwa -- He would've been the Jets' top receiver if he hadn't spent the entire season on injured reserve with a neck injury. It's a no-brainer for the Jets to tender him, probably at least at the second-round level, which figures to be around $3 million.
OL Brent Qvale -- A valuable and versatile lineman who played in all 16 games and started six, he'll probably be tendered, too. The second-round level is possible.
S Rontez Miles -- A solid special teams player with no shot of getting playing time over Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the Jets' secondary for years to come. If he's tendered, it'll be the low, "original round" number. Since he was undrafted, that means the Jets would get no compensation if he leaves. And honestly, at close to $2 million, even that tender isn't a guarantee.
DE Xavier Cooper -- A journeyman on his third team in three years, the Jets may bring him back but not at on an RFA tender. He'll have to re-sign at the minimum.
TE Neal Sterling -- The Monmouth (New Jersey) product is low on the depth chart and also will be non-tendered. He would likely have to re-sign at the minimum.
Exclusive Rights free agents
(Jets can keep these players simply by tendering them a one-year, minimum-salary deal)
FB Lawrence Thomas -- He converted from defensive end to fullback and wasn't bad. He's worth the minimum salary to see if he can develop further.
TE Eric Tomlinson -- He only caught eight passes in 14 games and is projected as a second tight end or a backup. But he's 6-foot-6, 263 pounds, with some skills, so he'll get the tender, too.
S Doug Middleton -- He spent all of last season on IR after spending the previous season on the practice squad. He's only 24, so there's no reason not to give him the tender and see if he can get healthy and win a job in camp.