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A Reason for 2014 Jets Optimism: Money to Play With

Anything less than the playoffs in 2014 will be no laughing matter
Anything less than the playoffs in 2014 will be no laughing matter

Anything less than the playoffs in 2014 will be no laughing matter

I am a John Idzik fan. I liken him, and my confidence in him, a bit to Sandy Alderson (although the rope grows significantly shorter with the latter after this season). Idzik is a very smart man. Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Dartmouth. A masters degree from Duke. A football man from a football family who’s worked his way up the football ranks and proved himself over several seasons in Seattle. I honestly don’t understand those jumping on his back for support of Rex Ryan. In fact, his refusal to commitment long term to Ryan or short term to Geno Smith are indications of intelligence and prudent thinking.

All that said, 2014 is an absolutely huge year for Idzik and the Jets organization. It’s also a reason for Jets fans to be optimistic, if we can ever allow ourselves to be. If only for the reason that we have a few things in good supply…that we haven’t had in a the same time. Draft picks and money. Idzik inherited some baggage from Tannenbaum. Nor can his inaugural draft  yet be adequately evaluated. Sheldon Richardson was a home run. Dee Milliner is still very much TBD, despite a strong finish. The jury is still out on Geno Smith. Brian Winters has been a flop. Our later round picks could be considered complete wastes at this point, although that could change. For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t matter.

The fine folks  at recently released their 2014 offseason salary cap and financial report for the New York Jets. And, pardon me, if I’m getting slightly giddy. If you’re a Jets fan (or even if you’re not), read the full article. These guys do a tremendous job breaking down a lot of complicated stuff into formats, facts and insights you can easily absorb and understand. The most important and exciting things to note as a backer of Gang Green? In addition to double digits worth of draft picks, the Jets will have money to place with to plug some holes. How much? This line helped me put it into perspective:

“After earmarking a few million for rookies and likely planning on holding $8-10 million in emergency reserves for the season, the  Jets should have a spending budget in the vicinity of $30 million . That should be 4th or 5th highest in the NFL.”

Now, if you’re a “glass-half-full” fan, which most Jets faithful are famously and historically not, you might allow yourself a moment to think…Ryan stays on for continuity. Idzik has his feet under him. If Geno’s the guy, he’s entering a second season knowing he’s the guy. We’ve got eight draft picks plus more compensatory selections with at least five in the first four rounds. Oh yes, and $30M to address some positions of need.

With some aging stalwarts, the window is not huge. But put together a bang-up draft and sign three or four key guys in free agency on top of some promising youth, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and you just might have something in New York. It’s got to happen, though. Mr. Idzik, the spotlight is now on you. Let’s see what you can do.


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