The New York Jets might be in some salary cap trouble. Might is the operative word as there is some conflicting information coming out about the salary cap situations around the NFL. Yesterday we detailed how Mike Tannenbaum essentially added $8 million to whatever the NFL decides this season's cap number is by sitting on his extra cap space last season. While the move was still a very smart one, it now appears as though it might not give the Jets the freedom it potentially could have.
Manager of NFL Network Research Matt Pomeroy recently tweeted this information to his followers:
@MattPomPom: Teams with least cap room as of Feb 6: PIT $22M over, CAR $9M over, OAK $9M over, NYG $3M over, NYJ $0.5M under.
Being that Pomeroy works for the NFL Network, it's safe to say his numbers are accurate. Still, there a few things to remember about the information.
First, he clearly states that these numbers are as of Feb. 6. As we mentioned in our post yesterday, teams don't have to notify the NFL that they are going to roll over their cap space from 2011 until Feb. 28. It's possible that these numbers don't include that rollover yet, though it seems unlikely considering that Pomeroy has the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with over $60 million in cap room each. We have reached out to Pomeroy for clarification on whether these figures include cap space rollover from the previous season.
It's also to remember that the move by Tannenbaum to save that cap space last year was still a great one, even if these numbers include the rollover. As we said in yesterday's article, the extra cap room left the Jets with an expected cap range of $128 million to $136 million. It appears to have ended up coming in around the low end, with the actual NFL number around $120 million, Jets number around $128 million, but the Jets would be in a much worse position if Tannenbaum hadn't saved the money. They would be at least $8 million over, if not more depending on what contracts they gave out when spending that money.
Finally, we need to keep in mind that the Jets aren't firmly tied to entering free agency with virtually no cap space. Tannenbaum manipulated the cap last year and he could do so again to make room for a free agent splash if he so chooses. If there's a way, Tannenbaum has the will and the knowledge to find it. He's shown that in the past. His greatest strength as a general manager is manipulating the salary cap.
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