The reworking of contracts for the cap-strapped New York Jets has begun. Early this morning, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Jets converted $4.5 million of tight end CJ Uzomah’s salary into a bonus. The move clears $3.6 million in cap space for the Jets.
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New York Jets re-work CJ Uzomah’s deal:
Last offseason, the Jets signed Uzomah in free agency to a three-year, $24 million contract. In year one of the deal, his cap hit was only $3.3 million. This year and next though, his cap hit was set to be $10.3 million.
Now, with the reworking of his deal, Uzomah now has a 2023 cap hit of $6.7 million. His prorated bonus has increased, however, from $2.3 to $3.2 million. The 2023 salary Uzomah was originally owed was $8 million, all in a base salary. With $4.5 million now paid through this restructure, his 2023 base salary does decrease to $3.5 million, hence, why his cap number goes down.
For 2024, Uzomah is slated to have a high cap hit of $11.2 million. None of his salary is guaranteed, however.
The final point worth noting here is that the Jets did tack on three void years here, going through 2027. Uzomah has a prorated bonus of $900K even after his contract is up. Per Over The Cap though, it looks as if the Jets will take on all $2.7 million of that prorated bonus up front in 2025, so nothing will go against the budget for 2026 or 2027.
This is likely just the first of many reworked contracts for the Jets this offseason. Even following this restructure of Uzomah, the Jets still only have $1.8 million in cap space. For a team desperately needing to make the playoffs next year and some clear positions of need, expect some more contract restructures or even some releases from the Jets in the near future.