Salary cap space
As of March 17, 2021, the Jets are projected to have $69,225,513 in cap space for 2021.
The Jets rolled over $26.7 million in 2020 cap space.
March 10 update: The salary cap has been set at $182.5 million.
The New York Jets continued to struggle as a franchise during the 2020 NFL season to a 2-14 record. The Jets were out of the playoff picture early, losing their first 13 games. In the most Jets thing possible, they won two of their final three games to lose out on the first pick of the upcoming NFL Draft.
This is an important offseason for the franchise, which has so much to figure out before the start of the 2021 season. Robert Saleh will replace Adam Gase as the head coach, and there will be a number of questions to be answered including what to do at quarterback.
The NFL powered though its 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The league played without fans in most stadiums, and limited fans in a handful of locations. The decrease in gate revenue is going to result in a decrease in money shared between the 32 teams. This in turn means the salary cap is expected to decrease. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a salary cap of no lower than $175 million. The latest report has the number landing between $180 and $181 million, which is a good bit lower than the $198.2 million of this past season. This will result in some tough choices for many teams.
All salary cap information below comes courtesy of the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report.
What to do at the quarterback position is usually the No. 1 priority for each NFL team, and the Jets have some decisions to make for their future. Sam Darnold is going into the final year of his deal, and he’s only going to make a $920,000 base salary in 2021. It seems likely the Jets will look for a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the draft with Darnold as the backup and or the bridge starter eventually giving way to the Jets next face of the franchise.
The Jets may have a whole new defense next season as seven of their top nine players in terms of total snaps are free agents. Safety Marcus Maye is the biggest name among the group. With the amount of cap space available, re-signing him should not be a huge issue, and Jets general manager Joe Douglas said keeping Maye is one of the top priorities. At 27 years old, Maye made $1,358,730 as his base salary in 2020, and he’s about to get a whole lot richer. Whether that will be with the Jets remains to be seen.
Interior defensive lineman Henry Anderson is not a free agent but will be in 2022. He is set to get a base salary of $8.2 million in 2021, though none of it is guaranteed in the final year of his three-year deal. Anderson has said he was frustrated by lack of playing time, and there’s a very low chance he will be on the roster next season with that large of a salary. The Jets can release him without penalty.