When the New York Jets signed right tackle Morgan Moses in early July, general manager Joe Douglas made a shrewd move. He took a likely starter on the right tackle in the 6-6, 335-pound Moses, a casualty of the Washington football team cap.
He did it for a modest price, a one-year contract worth up to $ 4.32 million, for a strong starting player who has been an NFL mainstay since 2015, his second year in the league. .
At the same time, the move has also given Douglas reassurance across the line if massive left tackle Mekhi Becton has a recurrence of the injury issues that plagued him in his rookie season a year ago. year. Moses is competing for the starting position in right tackle with incumbent George Fant, who is currently on the team’s reserve / COVID roster but is expected to be cleared soon.
Signing Moses, and signing all of the team’s draft picks, leaves the Jets about $ 16.52 million in ceiling space, according to Over The Cap.
If Fant loses the battle with Moses, he becomes a slightly expensive ($ 9,829,412, per overthecap.com) swing save option, but very reliable on tackle. The Jets would get $ 4.379 million in relief by removing it, the most potential cuts on the list, but would Douglas take that risk? Becton’s potentially precarious state of health makes it a risky proposition.
Greg Van Roten, at $ 3.382 million, would be the next highest potential saver if he were cut. However, he is the holder of the right guard and is fighting against Alex Lewis for this position.
All of this means that if the Jets assess their quarterback after playing their preseason games and decide they need a veteran replacement for rookie Zach Wilson, a trade with Chicago for Nick Foles doesn’t make much sense. . The Foles would count for $ 6.666 million against the cap, and unless New York forced the Bears to take a big chunk of the note – and why would they do it – that would leave the Jets little flexibility for the rest of the day. the season in case they make a move to replace one or two injured starters, and make waivers and other acquisitions after the end of the preseason.
Instead, if Douglas and Co. decide to go with a veteran, they’ll likely have to look for one in the junkyard. Blake Bortles is there after being cut off by Green Bay, and he’s at least trained in a variation of the Jets’ current offense. Green Bay coach is Matt LaFleur, older brother of Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Aside from Philadelphia’s Nick Mullens, who the Jets have already signed, there isn’t any likely-to-let-go veteran QB who has experience in the Shanahan-style offense.
Likewise, if the Jets decide they need the help of a veteran cornerback for a very inexperienced group, the teams to watch would be San Francisco and Atlanta. Head coach Robert Saleh, of course, has been the 49ers’ defensive coordinator for the past four seasons and knows their staff very well.
Jets new defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was the Falcons linebacker coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator for the last 11 games last season when defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was elevated to interim head coach after Dan Quinn’s sacking. Corners that played for Saleh and Ulbrich would be able to take over the defensive system faster than those that did not.
It will be interesting to see if the Jets sign or claim former Indianapolis players in the coming weeks. While assistant general manager Rex Hogan remains a trusted lieutenant for Douglas, the former Colts cornerbacks he likely recommended in previous years have not worked out. In the span of 48 days last fall, the Jets cut three ex-Indy corners: Nate Hairston, Quincy Wilson and Pierre Desir.
Interestingly, all three are currently on the NFL rosters, which just goes to show how hard it is to find good cornerbacks in professional football and how hard it is to assess them. Douglas, Hogan and the rest of the New York front office must judge over the next few weeks whether this extremely young group of cornerbacks can weather the NFL storm, and then act on it by making moves or standing.