With other teams locking up young talent a year early it’s not a bad time to look at the cap situation for the next year or two.
As it stands, the Jets have everyone signed they need to sign for this year with $8.27 million in space to spare. Looking forward to next offseason, there are handful of RFAs that will need to be signed. The notable ones in that list are Trouba, Ehlers, and Morrissey. It’s safe to assume that those three are going to take up most of the space available and in the case of Ehlers and Trouba, it would be good to lock them up now. Hellebuyck will also need a contract, but we know that his qualifying offer is at least $2 million so it’s easy to plan for his contract compared to the others.
Looking on the back end, Trouba has a qualifying offer of $3.5 but he’s rightfully due for a raise. Ideally, he would sign for his qualifying offer and save everyone a headache, but contracts don’t work like that and it’s possible that he’ll get a bit over $5 million AAV. With Enstrom coming off the books there will be room for that type of deal. Seeing that he’s arbitration eligible, we might not see an extension this summer and it could drag on through next summer, causing that aforementioned headache.
Another defenseman that becomes an RFA next summer is Morrissey but I don’t think he’ll get too much higher than his qualifying offer and there is no reason to rush out and sign him this summer. He’s only a rookie and the team most likely wants to see how he plays next year before throwing money at him. He might be a player that gets a bridge deal next summer until the front office knows for sure what he can do.
For forwards, Ehlers has his RFA status lurking and like Trouba, he’s one that should be done this summer. His qualifying offer is a little bit over $800k and we’re all delusional if we think he’s signing for that little. If the team believes he’s part of the long term future, it’s possible we could see him sign a deal similar to Palat or Johnson, at around $3.3 million. On the low end, a good comparable is Niederreiter who signed for a hair above $2.6 million. I think a safe bet will be a shorter contract between those two numbers. With Laine’s extension able to be signed next summer I could see the team wanting to go conservative on the extensions handed out.
Since there is only $8 million space as of now and a slow rising cap, it’s impossible to know what other RFAs will get signed next summer or who will get moved before then. As it stands, it’s possible that we’re looking at the loss of Little to make it all work for everyone.
What Would You Do JetsNation?
How would you handle the cap space for the next crop of RFAs? How much do you think Trouba and Ehlers should get? Do you think throwing money at Morrissey right now is the better option?
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