New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Woody Johnson: There’s no 'mandate' on spending
The Jets entered free agency with several holes to fill and plenty of cash at their disposal.
But general manager John Idzik has been relatively cost-conscious this offseason. And that’s quite all right with Woody Johnson.
“John is picking (players) using the cash that he has,” the Jets owner told reporters at the start of Wednesday’s mandatory minicamp practice. “Number one, he has some obligations that he has going forward, as you guys know. But it’s really trying to find the best value and best fit for the team and not just wantonly spending in free agency.
“Our culture is one of building ourselves. We rather take a player from the draft, mold them into what our culture is and have him be a Jet for us. That’s our idea. Obviously, we’ve got Eric Decker, we’ve got some really, really good free agents, but we’re not just looking to spend money. We want to make sure it’s value, it’s a good fit for us.”
According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Jets have a little more than $22 million in salary cap space. But fans who were expecting the Jets to be big spenders this offseason have, so far, been disappointed.
When it comes to the salary cap, Idzik explained it’s about “making well-informed, wise decisions. It’s nice to have that flexibility in the season.”
Johnson said there was no rules regarding how much (or little) his GM was supposed to spend this offseason.
“We don’t do mandates. We’ve never done that,” the owner said.
And while Johnson said it’s far too early to get a firm sense of his roster (“Some guys are good in shorts, some guys are better in pads,” he said with a smile), the owner seems pleased with Idzik’s moves this offseason.
“They appeared very good,” Johnson said. “We put a lot of effort into each and every one of those moves, for the 12 guys we selected there were a lot of guys we didn’t select. A lot of thought went into that. I thought the process was good, very organized, and I think a lot of football knowledge went into each and every one of those decisions.
"So, we’ll have to wait and see to see how it evidences itself as training camp and so-on as the season starts to see how good the decisions were, but we’re very encouraged to this point.”