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New York Jets still have $6 million in cap space, but problem looms

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It's time for one of our periodic salary-cap updates. With their draft choices under contract, and after an offseason of aggressive spending, the New York Jets have $6.244 million in cap room.

They're in a good place, cap-wise, because this gives them flexibility as they approach the season. Bill Parcells used to call this his "fudge" money; it means having enough cap room to handle injuries and sign players -- your own as well as free agents who might unexpectedly become available. Back in 1998, Parcells signed a guy named Vinny Testaverde in the middle of June. Worked out pretty well, I'd say.

Currently, the most pressing issue is Muhammad Wilkerson and a potential contract extension.

<!--photo1-->General manager Mike Maccagnan said last week that money has been allocated for Wilkerson. That's a vague statement, but there's no doubt they can fit a new deal under this year's cap. Wilkerson already has a $6.97 million cap charge, and it probably can be reduced by structuring the contract a certain way. The real question is whether the two sides can agree to the main components of an extension, namely the amount of guaranteed money.

For those who like looking into the future, here's a sobering thought: The Jets already are $3 million over next year's projected cap. That could impact the decision on whether to use the franchise tag on Wilkerson. The 2015 amount for a defensive end was $14.8 million.