Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has knocked over the first domino to clear up extra cap space and that domino is named Antonio Cromartie. In a move that should shock no one the Jets have cleared up $8 million in cap space by cutting the 31-year-old cornerback.
Cromartie's return to the Jets last offseason was celebrated as part of the complete make over in the secondary but while his play overall wasn't nearly as bad as many made it seem it simply wasn't good enough to earn him $8 million this year. At the time of his signing everyone seemed to be onboard with Cromartie returning but everyone also agreed that the Jets had overpaid, but that's only if you looked at the overall numbers. Never look at the overall numbers.
Cromartie signed a four-year contract "worth" $32 million but as all NFL fans should know by now, he was never going to see all of that money. Cromartie had all his guaranteed money given to him upfront last year so the Jets were free to release him and clear up all $8 million to use elsewhere in free agency.
For as talented as Cromartie is he has always been frustratingly inconsistent and with Marcus Williams ready to take over the number corner spot, opposite of Darrelle Revis, the $8 million the Jets save by cutting Cromartie can be put to better use and allow the Jets to upgrade at the position.
So, what will the Jets do with that extra money? And how much more will they be able to free up? Who will be the next domino to fall?
As everyone is getting excited for free agency to start it's been difficult to try and predict what moves the Jets will make before we see how much money they have to spend this offseason. If the Jets can clear up even more money by cutting the likes of Breno Giacomini and Jeremy Kerley and restructuring with players like D'Brickashaw Ferguson they should be able to free up enough money to bring back all the free agents they would like to return, Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Bilal Powell and even Chris Ivory if they choose (Ryan Fitzpatrick was not mentioned because he's coming back regardless).
Cromartie is the first name to go but he won't be the last as the Jets look to improve this offseason.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)