The Safety Market
“I have always believed that the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition - if a 100 percent competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game” - Tom Brady
I’m always reluctant to start any day with anything Tom Brady, but I read this quote last night and it made me think of Aaron Rodgers and whether he’s really going to be all-in this season if he hasn’t even decided he wants to play football on March 9th.
As Jets fans, all we can do is sit and wait.
💲 The Jets have started the process of opening up some cap space by restructuring the contract of tight end CJ Uzomah. They converted $4.5 million of his salary into a bonus, clearing up $3.6M in 2023 cap space. All teams need to be cap compliant by the start of the new league year and the Jets entered Wednesday a few hundred thousand dollars over the cap. The Jets have added void years onto the CJ contract to spread his cost through 2027.
🏋️ I'm not one of those guys who gets excited about off-season workouts. Every player on every team in every professional league turns up to camp in “the best shape of my life" - but the work Mekhi Becton is putting in is noteworthy. He knows this is a make or break season for him and he's giving himself the best chance. I'm a little worried he's losing too much weight.
🔴 The Arizona Cardinals officially announced the release of former Jets wide receiver Chosen Robbie Anderson in a cap saving mood. No, I don't have much interest in seeing him return to New York.
🧀 There are no updates on Aaron Rodgers as of this morning. I believe one year ago yesterday he announced his intention to return to football, so after saying he didn't want it to drag on, it's actually taking longer this year. I hope the Jets have given him a firm deadline.
With all the talk of quarterbacks, free agency has crept up on us this year. From Monday teams enter into the legal tampering period before the new league year and free agency kicks off for real on Wednesday 15th.
In today’s newsletter, we’re going to focus on the safety market, outlining who’s available and how much they’re likely to cost according to Spotrac’s market value calculator.
Before we do that, it probably makes sense to look at where the Jets are in terms of the safeties they have signed for the 2023 season.
Jordan Whitehead - $10,232,500 cap number ($2,982,500 dead $ if cut)
Ashtyn Davis - $3,027,070 cap number ($284,070 dead $ if cut)
Will Parks - $940,000 cap number ($0 dead $ if cut)
Tony Adams - $873,333 cap number ($6,667 $ if cut)
The Jets are currently set to spend $15,075,903 on the safety position next season. That would actually rank as the 13th most in the league. I expect Whitehead to be restructured to lower his cap and I don’t believe we’ll be paying Ashtyn Davis over $3 million to be a glorified special teamer.
In short, I expect this positional group to look very different heading forward.
So what are the options? We could absolutely look to take a safety early in the draft and plug him in next to a restructured Whitehead. We could decide that the highly athletic Tony Adams showed enough to be given a chance to start. But with Adams only having played 61 coverage snaps last year, I’m not sure how realistic that is.
So what options do the Jets have?