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Jets spending well below '09 cap

7/12/2010

The Jets seem to be balking when it comes to giving their players guaranteed dollars. That is one of the sticking points with CB Darrelle Revis, while OL Nick Mangold and LB David Harris are limited in what they can make by a rule stipulating raises this season are limited to a 30 percent increase of their prior salary.

Despite signing D’Brickashaw Ferguson — whose guaranteed money isn’t absolutely guaranteed against catastrophic injury — and Vladimir Ducasse this week, the Jets are being tight with the purse strings.

Last year the salary cap was $128M, and would’ve been raised this season. But in a year where teams are not bound to any cap, the Jets have spent around $104M including Ferguson’s contract, and $5M of that is to pay former OL Alan Faneca.

So even under the old salary cap the Jets would have roughly $24M to allocate among Mangold, Harris and Revis. In reality, they could create contracts for the remainder of their core four that would be over that cap, and not stress about it too much with several free-agent signings likely coming off the books next season.

But the Jets aren’t.

With potential training camp holdouts on the horizon on Aug. 1, the lack of spending raises questions about what the Jets' overall strategy is.

A close look at D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s contract shows that the left tackle is not getting as much guaranteed money as originally reported because, after the first season, his money may not be secured against a catastrophic injury if it kept him off the roster the following season.

That may not be a stipulation other players will agree to after seeing Leon Washington traded to Seattle after suffering a gruesome leg injury in a game last season.

Woody Johnson says that the Jets are a business, and that he has to run it like a business. On Wall Street that would mean bonuses for your top producers after a banner year, but the Jets seem to be following a different business model.

Training camp opens Aug. 1 in Cortland, and it’s a date that is fast approaching.