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Jets still have plenty to spend with NFL’s new salary cap

Jets general manager Joe Douglas now knows exactly how much room he has to spend when free agency opens next week.

The NFL salary cap has been set at $182.5 million for 2021. That is a decrease from $198.2 million last year. Teams knew that the cap was going to decrease this year after the effects of the pandemic on the 2020 season. No one was certain exactly how much. Now, they know.

The Jets now have $69.2 million in salary cap space, according to Over The Cap. That is the second-most in the league behind the Jaguars ($73.7 million). That means Douglas can be aggressive in free agency next week if he chooses to be. Teams can begin negotiating with agents on Monday and players can sign with teams on March 17. 

A few other key salary numbers were set on Wednesday that affect the Jets. Marcus Maye’s franchise tag will be $10.6 million. The Jets and Maye have until July 15 to agree on a long-term contract or Maye will play on the tag and for that figure this season.

Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Another number that has been finalized is the fifth-year option for Sam Darnold. It will be $18.9 million. The Jets have until May 3 to exercise the option for 2022. The Jets are not expected to pick up his option but if they trade him, the team that acquires him likely will.

Darnold’s salary for the 2021 season is $4.6 million. A team that is thinking of trading for him would be looking at getting him on a two-year, $23.5 million contract. 


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