With just over $1 million in available salary-cap space, the New York Jets need to make some moves before the start of NFL free agency in three weeks. To that end we will explore Jets cut candidates in the coming days and weeks.

With owner Woody Johnson on record stating that another 7-10 season isn't good enough, this is an extremely important offseason for the Jets. General manager Joe Douglas and coach Robert Saleh likely have one more chance at getting the Jets back into the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons.

Trading Zach Wilson is near the top of their to-do list. Assuming the Jets receive a draft pick or two in return, a Wilson trade would save over $5 million against the salary cap.

The Jets will have two other options to open up room under the salary cap. They can restructure large contracts for players they wish to retain. Quinnen Williams, Quincy Williams and John Franklin-Myers fit into that category.

New York could also sign players like D.J. Reed and Tyler Conklin to contract extensions and, in the process, lower each of their salary cap hits this season.

That leaves the players they are willing to part with in order to create more cap space.

C.J. Mosley — LB

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) gestures to fans after the game against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This is a most distasteful option, one the Jets most definitely wish to avoid. However, the Jets could save over $10 million against the salary cap if they cut their defensive captain before June 1, and $17 million after that date. That whopping savings is why the Jets must at least consider such a drastic move.

But it’s likely not going to happen. Mosley is the heartbeat of New York’s defense, having led them in tackles for three straight seasons. He’ll be 32 next season, but is still playing at an elite level, and has missed just one game since 2021.

It’s more likely the Jets will try and restructure Mosley’s contract again or sign him to an extension in a way that lowers his cap value in 2024.

Laken Tomlinson – G

Tomlinson was the only offensive lineman to start and play all 17 games with the Jets last season. That counts for something with how injury ravaged this position group has been the past two seasons.

But the bottom line is that Tomlinson just hasn’t been very good at left guard since signing with the Jets in 2022. Pro Football Focus handed him the two worst overall grades of his nine-year NFL career in 2023 (55.0) and 2022 (56.8). He allowed a career-worst seven sacks and 51 pressures this past season and his run blocking has been graded under a woeful 50.0 two seasons in a row.

Cutting Tomlinson now would save the Jets $8.1 million and it would be $13 million after June 1. Like with Mosley, there would be significant dead money left after he was cut in either case. Plus, the Jets would need to find a replacement, when they’re already searching for two new tackles.

C.J. Uzomah – TE

Nice guy. Locker room leader. Attends Broadway shows with Aaron Rodgers.

But Uzomah will be a goner this offseason. He’s the easiest cut candidate on the roster because of his poor production two years running, the Jets have better options (Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert) at tight end and New York would save more than $5 million by doing so.