NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)The Jets have reportedly asked veteran offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson to take a substantial pay cut, a move that would help free up the salary cap room needed to re-sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Ferguson is set to count $14.1 million against the salary cap this season. He is scheduled to earn $10.38 million — $8.63 in base salary and $1.75 million in bonuses.

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The Jets have just $565,000 available under the salary cap, according to NFL Players Association records. The team wants to re-sign Fitzpatrick, but the two sides have been at an impasse. The Jets have reportedly offered him a contract worth $7 million to $8 million a year while Fitzpatrick is seeking something closer to the $18 million-a-year deals signed this offseason by Philadelphia’s Sam Bradford and Houston’s Brock Osweiler.

Exactly how much of a pay cut the Jets are asking Ferguson, 32, to take is unclear. Sources told the New York Daily News there’s a sense he’d be willing to agree to a fair, reduced salary. ESPN reported that no negotiations have begun.

If Ferguson declines to accept a pay cut, the Jets could release him. While he is not due any guaranteed money this season, the Jets would have to absorb $5 million in dead money against the cap if they release him before June 1, or $3.73 million after June 1.

When asked about Ferguson at last month’s league meetings, Jets general manager said: “So right now I’d say he would be on our roster going forward, but we’ll see how this thing unfolds.”

Ferguson, a three-time Pro Bowler, has started every game since being drafted by the Jets with the fourth overall pick in 2006.


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