The Jets have a 2009 salary cap of around 123 million, but their current roster salary is at or around 123 million. Common sense says for this team to sign a rookie draft class, plus a free agent or two they will have to release/cut or not resign a few familiar faces.
Brett Favre: If he returns, his salary is 13 million for this season alone. To put it in perspective, he is worth about the same amount of money as signing all 7 draft picks, and maybe a free agent. Combining that with his turnover problem, and fading at the end of the season, you get the retirement of Bret Favre!
Brandon Moore: I think Brandon has been a great OG for the team, but he is owed a $5 million roster bonus. Considering Rex Ryan likes to run a smashmouth run mauling offensive line, the 295 pound Moore may be undersized, and his $5,461,187 paycheck this season may have to go. I think they could try to cut and resign him, but someone else will likely grab him first.
James Dearth: There is no cap hit if he is released. He is scheduled to make $945,000 this season. A million dollars for a long snapper? I dont think so. He's gone.
David Bowens: Bowens has been a good role player. He's subbed into every spot at LB and DE sometimes. However, he is not a starter and he's scheduled to make $2 million in base salary, with a total salary of $2,600,000. When you add that up, you get 2.6 million for a guy that comes off the bench to play 30 snaps a game? He may be a cap casualty.
David Barrett: 2 things. First, this team is looking at getting better in the secondary and signing another CB as a long term solution, so you already know someone is getting cut. Second thing is, Barrett is making $3,710,000 in base salary this season. When you add those 2 things up, you get a guy making almost $4 million for the season who was deactivated for the last 7 or 8 games of last season. He's taking up too much money for what his role is on this team. Who wouldn't save $3.7 million on a player who doesn't even play?
WHO WILL NOT BE LET GO?
Thomas Jones: TJ is coming off his first pro bowl, and is owed more than it is worth to let him go. I personally like TJ, so for all who think the Jets need to upgrade the RB's with some rookie, it's not gonna happen!
Bryan Thomas: BT plays well, and then struggles off and on for seasons. There is no certainty to that. There is certainty to this. If the team tries to cut him, and push Gholston into his spot, they will get a $500,000 cap room break. However they will owe $4 million in cap room for releasing him over the next few seasons. They are upside down on this car payment, and cannot financially release him.
WHAT DOES THIS ADD UP TO?
By releasing Favre, Moore, Dearth, Bowens and Barrett this team will create aproximately $27 million in cap room. That's for releasing 5 players. I see this being the most logical course of action. Mostly it affects positional players that will not affect the teams identity, with the exception being Favre.
With that $27 million they can resign MLB Eric Barton, sign a more talented rookie class to upgrade the depth at positions. Brandon Moore, could be replaced by Woody, with the first round pick being used to draft one of the bigger tackles or guards from a team like Oklahoma (just a guess). This is the way I see things shaking out, before the 2009 draft and free agency period starts.