Well, we got our answer late on Thursday night as general manager Joe Douglas opened up the checkbook for one of his brightest young defensive stars.
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A Diamond in the Rough
The Jets’ GM has received a lot of crap for his misses in the 2020 NFL draft, the random coaxing of a former Pro Bowler out of retirement, but it’s about time he gets some respect on his name.
John Franklin-Myers was originally a fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams but was dumped on the side of the street ahead of final roster cuts in 2019.
Douglas threw a dart throw on the waiver wire and it’s a move that has paid off in more ways than one.
JFM became a key part of the rotation and showed some pop in 2020 and reached a new level this season. After several players went down due to injury (Carl Lawson, Vinny Curry), Franklin-Myers received an expanded role and he took advantage of the extra reps.
Through four games he has three sacks (career-high) and still has another 13 games to add to that total.
The Jets saw the writing on the wall and decided to proactively put pen to paper to lock him in long term.
Here Is How Everything Breaks Down
So the Jets and JFM made a business decision that works out for both sides.
Franklin-Myers gets the security he was desperately searching for after playing for $920,000 in 2021 with no promises for the future.
While the Jets paid up a bit right now, at the end of the day they’re playing the long game. If they would’ve waited until the offseason there was a chance they could’ve lost him to free agency or would’ve had to strongly consider using the franchise tag (depending on how he played).
Gang Green signed him to a four-year contract extension which officially starts in 2022 which means he’s under contract through 2025.
It’s worth $55 million total and averages $13.75 million per season which is ninth-best among defensive tackles in the NFL.
There are $30 million in guarantees, but when you examine the fine print on the contract only $14.8 million was guaranteed at signing.
Here’s how it all breaks down on a per-year basis:
In two years with the green and white, JFM only has six sacks which have caused some fans to question the extension.
Although Douglas isn’t paying for the past, he is paying for the future. This is a perfect scheme that highlights JFM’s strengths and presents an unbelievable ceiling moving forward.
However, if things don’t work out long-term with Franklin-Myers the Jets do have an out that makes this contract not as daunting as you might think.
Gang Green could get out of the deal in 2023 and would only suffer a $1.2 million dead cap hit. So essentially the contract is a two-year deal (including 2021) and then if things work out they can go year by year the rest of the way and if things don’t they can move on.
This is a massive win for both sides and in particular the Jets.
Some final fun facts on the contract:
- JFM ranks 20th in APY $13.8 million among EDGE defenders.
- That same average per year ranks ninth among defensive tackles.