It turns out that when the Jets cut veteran players Eric Decker and David Harris it was solely due to Woody Johnson wanting to cut payroll in what seems to be a rebuilding season in 2017. The team slashed $13.75 million in cash payroll by letting them go. They were pretty much, the last of the veteran players on the roster that were primarily good.
One can say that Decker and Harris wouldn’t fit the mold with the current young roster and it probably wouldn’t have made a difference anyway by having Decker and Harris on the team because they won’t be close to reaching the playoffs.
Fans might think the team should’ve kept them because they needed some type of veteran leadership and to also have some sort of mix with young and somewhat older players. Many NFL coaches take that approach but the Jets changed that in 2017.
So by Johnson stripping the roster down, it certainly puts pressure on the younger players to step up and find a permanent spot. This is the right way to go now. The team is basically sacrificing the 2017 season and is already setting up a foundation through next year’s Draft and beyond.
You might be wondering now, why would Johnson decide to do this while still spending plenty of money during Free Agency and on other existing contracts? This question might sound insignificant but under the new CBA, the cap (max) for 2017 was $167 M per team. So each team must average around $158M. This requirement literally explains the Jets spending.
As a fan, I’d like to see the Jets take the field on Sunday, with always having a good chance to win. In 2017, there will be some doubt in games, with fans expecting them to play hard which is fine but it’ll still be hard to produce wins, especially when the Jets play the Patriots, Raiders and Chiefs this year.
Johnson has the right intentions in making such moves even if the team won’t be very competitive in 2017. Whether he made the right decision still has to be seen.