By Glenn Naughton
With plenty of holes to fill on their 53-man roster, the last thing the New York Jets want to do is have more vacancies open up once the free agency period hits.
A quick glance at the Jets pending unrestricted free agents shows few names worth losing any sleep over with the likes of Ben Ijalana and Kellen Davis and Geno Smith set to depart, but the lone exception is right guard Brian Winters. The four-year lineman out of Kent State has shown steady progress over the past couple of seasons and easily played his best football in 2016.
Gang Green is expected to trim the overpriced fat from the roster that could potentially free up plenty of cap space, somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million.
With that type of cap flexibility, one has to wonder what a Winters contract would look like.
Winters’ rookie deal paid him an average of $725,000, while the league’s top earners at the position are Pittsburgh’s David DeCastro and Chicago’s Kyle long, both of whom average $10 million per season.
The Jets may not pay Winters quite that much, but just how high will they go to avoid having Winters hit the open market where history has shown how two teams bidding against one another can get even the most marginal players astronomical contracts, isn’t that right Brock Osweiller?