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Report: Jets’ Conservative Approach To Free Agency Is All By Design

Executive Debunks Criticism: 'This Team Isn't Done' ... 'There Will Be More Signings'
John Idzik (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

John Idzik (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is a method to John Idzik’s perceived madness.

Everything that the Jets’ general manager has done — or hasn’t done — during the first full week of free agency has been part of a deliberate blueprint, a team executive told Kristian Dyer of Metro New York.

The executive said the Jets have spoken to a number of high-profile free agents, but “refuse to budge from their salary cap disciplines,” the executive said.

The Jets’ approach consists of assigning a dollar value to every potential target and never exceeding that number in negotiations, regardless of the pressures from agents, the media and fans, Dyer reported.

The Jets “will stick to that number, even if it means letting the player walk,” the executive told Dyer.

Despite signing wide receiver Eric Decker, who was considered the top player available at his position on the open market, and right tackle Breno Giacomini, a suitable replacement for Austin Howard, who bolted to Oakland for big dollars, Idzik has been under increased scrutiny, especially in the wake of free agent corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie choosing the Giants over the Jets.

As a result of that perceived injustice, fans and media expecting more action have characterized the Jets’ GM as out of touch, stubborn and indecisive. The executive that spoke to Dyer said that’s hardly the case.

Idzik is “calm and collected and unwilling to mortgage the future for a big splash now,” the executive said.

Which could explain why the Jets have made a mostly concerted effort to re-sign their own. So far they have reached deals with kicker Nick Folk, cornerbacks Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls, and linebackers Nick Bellore and Calvin Pace.

The executive said this idea that Idzik is cheap or that the Jets are unwilling to do what is necessary is flatly false. The fact remains, in the Jets’ eyes, many of the available free agents throughout the entire signing period simply haven’t been worth the dollars they’ve been paid.

“It doesn’t mean that we missed on all our targets. We didn’t,” the executive said. “It just means that the targets didn’t make sense with what John wants to do, and that is build depth and competition on both sides of the ball — not just a few stars.”

As for panic-stricken fears that the Jets somehow won’t spend any more meaningful money this offseason, the executive quickly dismissed the notion.

“Fans shouldn’t look at it as if the team missed on free agents. We just aren’t going to overpay and ignore other areas of need. We did well with players like Antwan Barnes and Chris Ivory last year, plus we have all of our (draft) picks. The team isn’t done, there is still quality out there. There will be more signings. And this team is poised to be flexible and active through the summer if and when other teams make camp cuts,” the executive said.