Under this new rule teams are required to spend, at minimum, 89 percent of the total cap over a four-year period. The rule was put into effect at the start of the 2013 season which means teams will have to spend the 89 percent over the time frame of the 2013 season through the 2016 season.
As ESPN’s Rich Cimini points out what all this really means is the Jets are flush with cash, or as Jean-Ralphio Saperstein would say “ Fl-us-shed with CAAAAAAAAAASH.”Cimini notes that “according to the NFLPA, they (Jets) spent only 81.16 percent the last two years.”
My math could be completely wrong here (I may not have used the correct formula. I was always good at math in school but I could never figure out the formulas. My brain computes numbers in really odd ways but it always worked for me even though my teachers hated it) but if the desired goal is 89 percent over a four-year period and the Jets are at 81.16 percent over the first two years then by my calculations the Jets must spend 97.84 percent of the cap over the next two seasons to bring them to 89.5 percent of the cap over a four-year total.
Or another way to look at it is, the cap in 2013 was $123 million, $133 million in 2014, expected to be at least $143 million in 2015 and, if we assume it will go up around another $10 million in 2016, $153 million in 2016. That would give us a total cap of $552 million over a four-year period and the “cap floor” of 89 percent would equal $491,280,000.
Over the first two years the Jets have spent $207,779,809 (total cap over those first two years is $256,000,000) which means they would need to spend a total of $283,500,191 over the next two years to meet the 89 percent threshold or an average of just over $141,750,000 over the next two years.
According to spotrac.com the Jets currently have $106,263,749 accounted for against the 2015 cap. But remember the Jets get to rollover the $12,619,394 in cap space that they didn’t use last year which means if the cap is $143 million this year the Jets will actually have a $155,619,394 cap. This leaves the Jets with just under $50 million in cap space this year and of course they could still create an extra $10.5 million if they decided to release Percy Harvin or they could restructure his contract as well as a few other contracts to free up even more money.
As for the 2016 season the Jets currently only have $78,683,572 counting against, again assuming the cap goes up $10 million again, the $153 million cap. Of course once they start signing free agents this offseason that number will go up but that will still leave them with a bunch of money to spend next year.
Sorry to go all John Idzik on you with all that math but the point of all that is, all this talk about the Jets being very active in free agency is not only going to be true but they don’t have any other choice. They must be active because they must spend that money.
According to Cimini if the Jets fail to meet the minimum requirements of the “cap floor” the official punishment won’t be severe.
“What happens if they fail to reach the plateau?” Cimini reports, “The team isn’t fined and it doesn’t get penalized a draft pick. The shortfall is allocated to players who were on the roster from 2013 to 2016. In other words, the NFLPA will spread it around as it sees fit.”
While this may not sound like much a deterrent, because it’s not and at least the money would find it’s way back to the players albeit in a possibly arbitrary manner, the deterrent would be being labeled as the team that failed to meet the cap floor. Players around the league would definitely notice this and all free agents would be justified to question the organization’s desire to win, which would possibly make signing quality free agents a much harder task for the Jets.
One way for the Jets to start spending all that money would be to sign Muhammad Wilkerson to an extension already then they could look to the free agent market to fill out the roster.