New Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was introduced to local media today along with new head coach Todd Bowles, but before Maccagnan met with a full room of reporters, he sat down for a one-on-one interview for the club’s official website. Asked during that conversation about his approach to free agency, Maccagnan indicated that he expects the team to be “very active” this March.
“We definitely have a lot of cap space,” Maccagnan said. “Our goal is to look at all avenues possible in free agency. I don’t want to give away our philosophy in terms of how we’re going to attack free agency, but our goal is to ideally fill some of our needs via free agency, which will allow us to be a little more flexible in the draft in terms of looking for the best player available — building through the draft is ideally what I’d like to do, but we’ll be very active in free agency.”
After the Jets decided to part ways with John Idzik at season’s end, there was speculation that the team would try to bring aboard an anti-Idzik — someone who had strong personnel background rather than a cap specialist. Maccagnan certainly fits that bill, and it appears his approach to free agency will differ from Idzik’s as well. The ex-Jets GM sat on approximately $20MM in cap space in 2014, despite the team having multiple needs that could have been addressed in free agency, particularly at the cornerback position.
Early estimates have the Jets heading into the 2015 offseason with between $40MM and $50MM in cap room, so while Maccagnan won’t necessarily pursue star players, the club should have plenty of flexibility to consider an array of options when free agency opens on March 10.