Saquon Barkley, Jets and Giants

Jets and Giants ready to roll as NFL sets salary cap

The NFL announced on Friday that the upcoming season's salary cap is $255.4 million. This is a $30 million increase from 2023. What do the numbers look like for the Jets and Giants?

According to Over the Cap, the Jets sit at about $15 million in cap space, while the Giants have roughly $33 million in cap space. This gives the Jets and Giants more money to play with this offseason.

Both teams can free up more money through contract restructures and player releases. This is important for both teams as they have notable free agents that are set to hit the open market. They also will look to sign crucial free agents in an attempt to have a successful 2024 season. The Jets and Giants had disappointing seasons in 2023 and will look to fill the necessary holes through free agency.

With the set salary cap, the NFL has also locked in the franchise tag numbers. This is noteworthy for the Jets and Giants, as they have significant names linked to getting that tag.

For the Jets, it is defensive end Bryce Huff and running back Saquon Barkley for the Giants. The tag for a defensive end is around $21 million, while for a running back, it's roughly $11 million. In the Giants' case, they already franchise-tagged Barkley last season, meaning it would cost them a little over $12 million to tag him again.

Before the Giants' season finale, Barkley said he wanted to be a "Giant for life" but had "no idea" if they wanted to keep him after the season. Barkley played in 14 games this season, rushing for 962 yards and six rushing touchdowns and catching four touchdowns. Speculation right now is that the Giants are unlikely to tag Barkley.

In the Jets' case, Bryce Huff had a breakout season for them in 2023, giving them ten sacks on a total of 33 pressures. He did this while only playing about 42% of the Jets defensive snaps. According to Pro Football Focus, Huff had a 22.9%-win rate on pass rushes, the second-highest in the league, only trailing Cowboys Micha Parsons.

The Jets are in this position where they must decide on Huff's future in New York because general manager Joe Douglas only extended Huff through the 2023 season. He will cost much more with Huff's breakout season than he once did. This means the Jets will have to pay or use the $21 million tag on the rising star if they want to keep him in New York. ESPN's Rich Cimini believes it's unlikely the Jets will use the tag on Huff.