A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:
Jets Sign Two New Assistant Coaches and Promote One
Todd Bowles continues to flesh out his coaching staff with the hiring of two new assistant coaches, and promoting John Scott Jr. from defensive quality control coach to assistant defensive line coach. The two new assistant coaches are David Diaz-Infante, and Tim Atkins. Diaz-Infante was hired as the new assistant offensive line coach, replacing Ron Heller who was fired at the end of the season. As a player Diaz-Infante won two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos playing on the offensive line at both guard and center. Bowles had gotten to know Diaz-Infante while in Arizona where he was the assistant offensive line coach from 2013-14. John Scott Jr. was promoted to assistant defensive line coach replacing Ryan Slowik who left for an outside linebackers coach position with the Cleveland Browns. Scott’s former position of defensive quality control coach was filled by Tim Atkins. Atkins was a football operations assistant for the Buffalo Bills.
Winters Cashes in Due to NFL’s Rookie Wage Scale
Instead of his previously scheduled salary of $675,000, Brian Winters will make $1.696 million dollars on the final year of his rookie contract. Winters is receiving a pay bonus of over one million dollars due to the “proven performance escalator.” Winters qualified for the pay raise by playing over 35 percent of the offensive snaps in two of the three seasons he’s had so far. The “proven performance escalator” was included in the 2011 CBA. All players on a rookie contract that were drafted in rounds three through seven after 2012 are included. Winters is the only player who received the pay increase. Tommy Bohanon was close, but missed his pay raise due to a broken collarbone injury last season. It’s a nice bonus for Winters, but the Jets will have to spend another one million or so even though they’re tight on cap space.
The Jets don’t exactly have a ton of cap space to work with this off-season, particularly with multiple impact players slated to hit free agency. The good news is that the other three teams in the AFC East have it worse than the Jets. The Dolphins have $167 million in cap commitments for the 2016 season, The Bills have around $166 million, while the Patriots have $159 million. The Jets have nearly $145 million in cap commitments next season. The NFL salary cap for the 2015 season was $143.28 million, and the number for the 2016 season is rumored to be up to $153.4 million according to CBSSports.com. It’s clear the Jets will have to make some in-house moves before free agency to free up some cap space, but their division rivals will have a tougher time finding solutions to their cap issues.
It’s been over a week since the 2015 season officially ended and news in the NFL is scarce, but some important events aren’t too far off:
- On February 16th teams can designate players with a franchise tag.
- From February 23rd to the 29th the annual NFL scouting combine will be held in Indianapolis.
- March 1st teams can no longer designate a franchise player.
- March 7th teams are permitted to contact free agents and come to informal agreements.
- March 9th the 2016 league year officially begins and free agency opens. Teams are permitted to sign players and make trades after 3 pm CT.
- March 20th to the 23rd the annual Owners meeting will be held in Boca Raton, Florida
- April 22nd is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
- April 28th to the 30th the NFL draft will be held in Chicago