New York Jets: 2019 Cap space slightly misleading

(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets are second in the NFL in total cap space, and that looks great on the surface, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Le’Veon Bell will be a highly sought after free agent in 2019, unless the Pittsburgh Steelers become petty and franchise tag him for the third and final time (a highly unlikely scenario). According to Spotrac, the New York Jets have the second-highest cap space in the NFL in 2019 with over $106 million to spend.

The amount of money to spend is great if you want to look simply at the total amount of money. However, there’s a lot more than just total money in play that goes into spending in the free agent market. It has to do with allocated properly, and that’s why the Jets are not in one of the best situations in the NFL, despite what people want to portray.

Don’t get me wrong, the Jets aren’t in horrible shape. The Eagles and Jaguars both have negative cap space as of right now, but the Jets situation isn’t all roses.

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When you look at it from an average perspective, the Jets are good, but not great. The Jets may be second in the league in total cap space, but they are first in the NFL in open roster spots to get to a 53-man roster for 2019 with just 29 roster spot filled.

The Browns have a little more than $81 million in cap space, but they have only nine open roster spots for 2019. The Jets, on the other hand, have 24 roster spots to fill with their $106.6 million in cap space. That averages to slightly more than $4.4 million per open spot.

Let’s look at two possible singings that the Jets fans want according to Spotrac Market Value:

First, DeMarcus Lawrence‘s average market value is five years, $14 million per season. Let’s say the Jets do sign Lawrence to that deal, and his 2019 cap hit is $14 million. That would leave the Jets with a shade over $4 million to spend on average per player.

Jadeveon Clowney is another player Jets fans on social media have thrown out there. According to Spotrac, his market value is higher than Lawrence, $16.6 million per year over six years. If he got that number with the Jets in 2019, it would leave the Jets with an average of just over $3.4 million to spend in 2019 for 21 roster spots, and that doesn’t include the guaranteed money for the first-round draft pick, which is set in stone.

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Sure, $106 million looks like a lot on the surface, but you have to dig deeper. The Jets aren’t in bad shape, but it’s not as great as it looks. It would be nice for the Jets to be able to spend like the fans want, but in the end, it’s about wise decisions, and spending judiciously.