Jets cutting veteran tight end C.J. Uzomah in a cap saving move before NFL free agency begins

Jets cutting veteran tight end C.J. Uzomah in a cap saving move before NFL free agency begins

The NFL can be a cruel business sometimes. Especially around this time of year.

Jets cutting veteran tight end C.J. Uzomah in a cap saving move before NFL free agency begins

The Jets have been working to clear more salary cap space the last few weeks heading into free agency in a few days, and they aren’t done yet.

The Jets are releasing tight end C.J. Uzomah two years into the three-year deal he signed with New York in 2022.

Uzomah was scheduled to count $11.2 million against the salary cap. By releasing him, the Jets will clear $5.3 million in cap space, which will bring their total cap space to around $25 million.

After signing as a free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals, Uzomah never really found a prominent role with the Jets. The Jets, who were desperate at tight end during the 2022 off season, also signed Tyler Conklin, who has been the far more productive player at that position.

Uzomah only managed to tally 29 catches for 290 yards and three touchdowns in 27 games over two seasons with New York. Last year, he had eight receptions for 58 yards and one touchdown.

The 31-year-old is the second veteran the Jets signed in 2022 to be released this offseason joining Laken Tomlinson in the free agency pool.

While both players were severely under whelming in their production on the field, they are both highly regarded locker room guys and considered to be strong leaders amongst the team.

The Jets Plan at Tight End

While the move to cut ties with Uzomah is not surprising at all, it does leave the Jets in a bit of quandary at the tight end position. Tyler Conklin is the incumbent starter, but he is in the last year of his contract and is scheduled to take a $9million cap hit this year.

The Jets also have third year tight end Jeremy Ruckert who saw more action last year than his rookie year and may have to take on a more prominent role in 2024.

The Jets could look to add another tight end this offseason, but I would highly doubt that they will be able to afford the luxury of drafting Georgia tight end Brock Bowers with the 10th overall pick. While Bowers is certainly worth a top 10 selection based on his skill, the Jets can’t afford to miss the opportunity to draft a tackle who will protect Aaron Rodgers’ blind side this season.

Dead Money is Bad Money

Just because a player is no longer on a team, doesn’t mean he isn’t still costing that team a lot of money.

The Jets are in a bad spot this offseason with dead money. As the Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt points out, the Jets are paying for a lot of the bad decision they have made over the past few seasons.

It is hard to sign players in free agency when you are spending over 15% of your cap space on players who aren’t suiting up for your team. The Jets may need to mortgage more of their future to pay for a short championship window.

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