Rex Ryan has talked about his desire to adopt a more aggressive mind-set in all matters in 2013, but the reality is that the cap-strapped Jets will be nothing more than bargain hunters when free agency begins Tuesday.
New GM John Idzik may have to replace as many as seven key starters, including Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry and veteran defensive line leader Mike DeVito. The Jets are only about $8 million under the projected 2013 salary cap of $123 million. So, don’t expect Idzik to land any high-priced, coveted free agents.
When the new three-day negotiating window begins Saturday at midnight, Idzik will focus on affordable options to fill some of the glaring holes.
Idzik is poised to acquire some stop-gaps for the Jets, coming off a 6-10 season, with second- and third-tier free agents. He will look to replenish the roster depth that was lacking last season during next month’s draft.
Although Idzik would never make a public declaration, make no mistake: The Jets are hitting the reset button.
“We will certainly evaluate our own (players) in comparison with what might be out there in free agency,” Idzik said at the Scouting Combine a few weeks ago.
Idzik has expressed his desire to retain Landry, who was a steadying force in the secondary during his first season with the team, but the price tag simply may be too high. Landry will likely command a $6 million annual salary that the Jets can’t afford right now. Gang Green has reportedly inquired about Charles Woodson, who was cut by the Packers, but adding a 36-year-old safety may not be a good fit for a rebuilding team.
DeVito, who agreed to a pay cut before the 2012 season, is also expected to draw interest from teams that may be willing to pay him more than he has received from the only team he has played for.
The Jets will take a cost-friendly approach to create competition for quarterback Mark Sanchez. Veteran David Garrard, who had a thorough workout at the Jets facility last week, and free agent Brady Quinn are on the radar.

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