Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said on Tuesday that he's "excited" about the amount of salary cap space the team has to spend this offseason, suggesting they plan to be very active.
The Jets went 5-11 this year for a second-straight season, but Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles -- who have been overseeing the rebuild -- were rewarded with two-year contract extensions that run through 2020.
However, Maccagnan is not yet setting high expectations for 2018.
"I don't necessarily want to set benchmarks," Maccagnan told reporters when asked if the goal next season was reaching the playoffs.
Maccagnan also said the team is not closing the door on QB Christian Hackenberg.
"The book on Christian is not closed," Maccagnan said. "There's areas that he's actually improved upon."
Players develop at different paces. Christian is only 22 years old. I don't think his final chapter has been written yet."
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As is customary, Maccagnan's end-of-season presser contained more platitudes and general information than insight and revelation, but one interesting comment was their intention to be "very active" in free agency.
Does this represent a change in philosophy for the Maccagnan regime, for whom the mantra in the past has always been that they would "build through the draft"? One way of looking at this is that perhaps Maccagnan is satisfied with the foundation the Jets have built -- primarily through the draft -- and now feels that the team is in position to invest in some more established veteran talent. It's apparent the Jets need that kind of talent influx.
Of course, having a lot of cap space doesn't limit you to the free agent market. It could also open up some trade possibilities. The team might also look into using their excess cap room to absorb salaries -- either by taking on an unwanted contract or by paying off part of the contract for an outgoing player. That could enable them to acquire further draft capital so they can also continue to focus on that primary goal at the same time.