The first day of NFL free agency passed relatively quietly for the Jets despite having nearly $40 million in salary cap space.
The lone exception was the team signing kicker Nick Folk to a four-year deal. The deal is worth a reported $12 million, though only $2.1 million is guaranteed.
He had been franchised at $3.556 million, but was looking for a long-term deal.
A team source told Metro New York that despite the team’s failure to ink starting right tackle Austin Howard to a contract before the 4 p.m. start of free agency, there is optimism he can return to the Jets under a long-term deal. Howard has made 32 starts over the last two seasons in New York.
In a rather unsurprising bit of news, a team source also said the team won’t pursue tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., who signed a contract with the Jets last offseason. Winslow went through a rocky 2013 season that included injuries, a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and an offseason arrest.
With the release of wide receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday, the Jets are believed to be roughly $40 million under the salary cap. They have placed a priority on adding a starting-level cornerback and making a run at a proven wide receiver.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.