The Jets will head into the first free-agent signing period under new GM Joe Douglas with a ton of money to spend for the third straight year. This time they'll start with at least $50 million, and probably a whole lot more.
The question, though, is whether he'll spend it any better - or smarter - than former GM Mike Maccagnan did.
That remains to be seen, of course, but Douglas will have to begin this offseason erasing some of Maccagnan's mistakes. There are plenty of players on the roster with huge salaries who aren't exactly living up to the numbers. Douglas will have the opportunity to clear a few of them out.
Some of them, of course, could be in trade - especially if he decides to shop running back Le'Veon Bell. But most of his housecleaning will be done through cuts. It's unclear just how extensive that cleansing will be. But here's a look at some of the Jets whose cap numbers and other factors could make them among the first to go:
CB Trumaine Johnson
This will be the easiest decision Douglas will have to make, even if it's an expensive one. Johnson's five-year, $72.5 million deal goes down as one of the worst in Jets history. He was nothing but trouble, he wasn't good and he was plagued by injuries. That's quite the Triple Crown and it's why the Jets are willing to eat his $12 million in dead money. He's going anyway, but it's a bonus that cutting him clears $3 million off the cap.
LB Avery Williamson
A good player, a popular player, and at 27 still a young player. But he also was signed by Maccagnan and coming off a season lost to a torn ACL. Cutting him would save $6.5 million against the salary cap and leave only $2 million in dead money. If Douglas does want to bring him back to play next to C.J. Mosley, it would almost certainly have to be at a significant reduction from his $6.5 million salary.
WR Quincy Enunwa
He played just one game last year and only 12 over the last three years due to multiple neck injuries. Despite the risk, he seems to want to play again - though it's not clear he wants to play again for Adam Gase after his Twitter eruption last season. Regardless, the four-year, $36 million contract he signed at the end of the 2018 season now looks wildly premature. Cutting him only saves $2.4 million and leaves $5.4 million in dead money behind. But it's not clear if the Jets think it's safe for him to play again, so they might not want to let him try.
G Brian Winters
Everyone who has spoken to Douglas has come away understanding one thing very clearly: A major overhaul of the offensive line is coming. The 28-year-old Winters looked like a cornerstone under Maccagnan, but not so under Douglas. Entering the final year of his contract, the Jets could clear his entire $7.2 million cap charge off their books by letting him go.
CB Darryl Roberts
When Douglas isn't working on overhauling the offensive line, he'll be working on the secondary - specifically at cornerback. Roberts had some good moments for a bad secondary, but he's 29 years old and the Jets can clear his entire $6 million off their books, making this an easy choice.
DT Steve McLendon
He's a respected leader in the locker room and he can still play. Also, cutting him doesn't save a ton, really - just $2.5 million. But he is 34 and plays a position where he gets pounded, and where the Jets just drafted a player with the third overall pick. Time is running out. It's just a matter of when.
C Jonotthan Harrison
The 28-year-old played reasonably well at center on a mostly bad offensive line. Cutting him only clears $2.25 million, so this is really just a matter of how deep Douglas goes when overhauling the Jets' line. If nothing else, keeping the 6-4, 300-pound Harrison would be smart for depth even if the Jets bring in another center to start.
WR Josh Bellamy
He was brought in mostly for special teams and could still have value there. He was placed on injured reserve in November with a shoulder injury, though, and he'll turn 31 in May. They can clear $2.25 million by cutting him, which isn't much. His status may depend on his health and whether Douglas thinks he can find someone younger to do his job.