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Sifting through the New York Jets’ maneuverable future: Draft assets, salary cap

Joe Douglas
Jet X Graphic, AP Photo

When sifting through the New York Jets’ future, by way of draft assets and salary cap situation, the maneuverability becomes clear.

Ladies and gentlemen, the New York Jets’ future is loaded. I know, you, the fan, has already heard this before—too many times, in fact.

The overwhelming general sentiment: The Jets’ future is bright while the present remains bleak. Sacrificing yet another star player for future assets is just Monday for the Jets. Names such as Keyshawn Johnson, John Abraham, Darrelle Revis and now Jamal Adams bolting town—whether it was the individual player’s goal or not—forces these mega trades to feel as often as Monday.

And although these stars escaping New York have coincided with Super Bowl-less years, it’s not nearly as easy as matching up one-to-one. The Jets have qualified for as many playoff appearances (7) from 1998 through 2010 (during the period they traded away Johnson and Abraham) as they did for the first 38 seasons of play (1960-1997).

Great players are nice to have, but it’s never the end-all, be-all. This league is about drafting properly and legitimate salary-cap success—something Joe Douglas understands fully. And now, he’s put himself in a phenomenal spot to get the Jets’ future right.

2021 offseason

Draft picks:

  • Round 1
  • Round 1 (via Seahawks/Jamal Adams trade)
  • Round 2
  • Round 3
  • Round 3 (via Seahawks/Jamal Adams trade)
  • Round 4
  • Round 5
  • Round 5 (via Giants/Leonard Williams trade, will turn into a 2021 fourth-rounder if Williams re-signs prior to 2021 league year)
  • Round 6 (conditional/could be Jets, Cowboys or Patriots trade depending on conditions)
  • Round 7
  • Round 7 (conditional/Parry Nickerson trade)

This is the offseason. Some have argued all it takes is one draft to right the ship, but if Douglas nailed the 2020 NFL draft, he can simply use the 2021 version to pile on the talent.

Obviously, most of the draft capital comes from the Adams deal. Two first-rounders, a second, two thirds, a fourth (possibly two fourths), two fifths (one fifth if Leonard Williams re-signs with the Giants prior to the 2021 season, a sixth and at least one seven is the current capital owned by the Jets.

Twenty-thirteen marks the last time the Jets owned two first-round picks. Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson didn’t exactly work out. Prior to that, 2006 marked the time prior to that grave 2013 disappointment—the flagship draft that helped create, arguably, the best roster in the NFL from 2008-2010. D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold marked the last time the Jets selected a first-round offensive lineman (prior to Mekhi Becton this past virtual offseason).

Salary cap situation:

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