Jets rank last in NFL in dead money

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For once, the Jets rank last in something positive.

New York has the least dead money in the NFL with just $2.08 million, according to Over The Cap. That money is tied to just four players: TE Ryan Griffin ($686,118), DE Jabari Zuniga ($498,684) QB James Morgan ($357,632) and OT Cameron Clark ($35,496).

This is in stark contrast to what the Jets’ dead cap situation has looked like recently. New York had the third-most dead money over the previous three seasons with $117 million over that span, per Warren Sharp. The Jets paid 20 players a combined $31 million last year alone with the likes of CB Trumaine Johnson, QB Sam Darnold and RB Le’Veon Bell still on the books.

Those numbers were all thanks to poor drafting and poor free agent signings by Mike Maccagnan during his tenure as the Jets’ GM. Joe Douglas did his best to rid the team of those bad deals when he joined the Jets in 2019 and is finally starting to see the fruits of his labor in 2022.

Not only do the Jets have their financials cleaned up from the previous regime, but the team doesn’t have too many bad contracts left on the books that would force them to incur any more major dead cap hits. The biggest potential dead money hits are tied to players the Jets have no interest in moving right now, like C.J. Mosley, Carl Lawson, Corey Davis and John Franklin-Myers.

Having so little dead cap means the Jets are using almost all of their cap space on players who can actually help the team now. It also helps that Douglas adopted the strategy of building through the draft rather than overpaying for players or signing deals that aren’t team-friendly.

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