A talented New York Jets rookie wanted to keep his collegiate jersey number at the next level. The only problem was a Gang Green veteran already had dibs on that number.
If he wanted to keep that tradition going in the pros he would have to come to a financial agreement with veteran DJ Reed Jr who signed with the team during free agency.
On May 10 it was revealed that they had come to terms, although the specific financial details were not made available.
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Financial Juicy Details Revealed
During open availability with the media on Tuesday, June 14, Gardner confirmed that he paid $50,000 to secure the No. 1 jersey from Reed.
The money was “wired” to Reed, but not through Venmo, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic.
There was some speculation this offseason that Sauce paid over $250,000 for the jersey, but he shut that narrative down on social media.
Back on May 7, Gardner officially signed his rookie contract. The four-year deal (with a fifth-year team option) is worth over $33.4 million. The contract also features a $21 million signing bonus with the entirety of the contract being fully guaranteed.
In other words, it cost Sauce 0.0074 percent of his rookie contract to get the jersey number he wanted. A small price to pay for fashion I suppose.
In a singular offseason, the Jets were able to completely overhaul their secondary turning a weakness into a strength.
Now the debates that’ll be happening on social media won’t be about who is starting at corner this week but rather the chicken or the egg.
Which one is the best formula?
A great secondary that makes a quarterback hitch paired with an average pass rush? Or having elite sack artists that force the quarterback to throw it before he wants to, thus making the corners talent level less important?
The Jets have a first-world problem with the chutzpah they have at both levels of their defense.
Although if you had to pick one right now, it appears the secondary improvements are so overwhelming that a quarterback will be forced to hesitate with his players covered. That should create ample opportunity for these young and old veteran pass rushers to get home.
The Jets haven’t had a double-digit sack pass rusher since 2015 (Muhammad Wilkerson), but this seems like a good year to finally end that drought. The leading candidates are likely Quinnen Williams and Carl Lawson, but there is plenty of players on the roster that’ll be capable of taking advantage of that mismatch.