A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Top of the cap: Hey, whaddya know, the Jets lead the league in something:
Going into this all-important week, the Jets have $89.9 million in cap room, according to overthecap.com. They moved ahead of the Cleveland Browns, who added two big contracts during their pre-free agency trading spree -- Tyrod Taylor ($16 million) and Jarvis Landry ($16 million). The Browns dropped to $81.3 million. They will gain some room when Danny Shelton, traded to the New England Patriots, comes off the books, but not enough to reclaim the lead.
From a cap standpoint, the Jets couldn't be in a better spot. General manager Mike Maccagnan, who said he's planning to be active in free agency, has the means to be more aggressive than any team in the league. But the last thing you want to do as a GM is to significantly overpay for average talent, and this isn't a particularly good free-agent class. That explains the flurry of trades in recent days.
The Jets appear willing to give quarterback Kirk Cousins a top-of-the-market contract, but will they push the envelope at other positions? The "legal tampering" period starts at noon Monday and the league year begins at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.
Gentlemen, start your checkbooks.
2. Beware, the Bills? The Buffalo Bills will receive a third-round pick when the Taylor trade becomes official on Wednesday, which means they will add to their significant draft capital -- two picks in each of the first three rounds. No doubt, they will try to use it to trade up for a quarterback.
Should the Jets be worried? Yes and no.
The Bills, who own the 21st and 22nd picks, have the ammo to move into the top 5, meaning they could swipe a quarterback coveted by the Jets (if they don't land Cousins). Ah, but the Jets aren't exactly short on ammo. In fact, their first-round pick (sixth overall) is worth more than the 21st and 22nd picks -- 1,600 points to 1,580, according to the commonly used trade value chart.
Let's take it even further.
The Bills' first six picks (21, 22, 53, 56, 65 and 96) are worth 2,671 points, according to the chart. The Jets' first four picks (6, 37, 49 and 72) account for 2,770 points. The Jets' entire draft is worth 2,899 points, the Bills' 2,763.
So, yes, the Bills could pose a trade-up threat, but the Jets have the ability to outbid them. Think about it: Why would a team in the top five want to drop all the way to 21 when they could take the sixth pick from the Jets?
3. Quiet on the trading front: The Jets haven't jumped into the trading frenzy. There was a report about them showing interest in Landry, but they weren't among the teams that contacted the Miami Dolphins, a league source said. They wouldn't have traded him to a division rival anyway.
4. Updated mini-mock: Go ahead, feel free to pick apart this week's offering. I still think the Browns will pick a quarterback; Taylor is only a one-year bridge.
Pick 1: Browns -- QB Sam Darnold, 2. New York Giants -- RB Saquon Barkley, 3. Indianapolis Colts -- DE Bradley Chubb; 4. Browns -- DB Minkah Fitzpatrick; 5. Denver Broncos -- QB Josh Rosen; 6. Jets -- QB Josh Allen.
5. Silent Jets: A small number of players from the Broncos and Arizona Cardinals, both of whom are expected to bid for Cousins, have used social media to recruit/lobby for the quarterback. Unless I missed something on Twitter, the Jets have remained conspicuously quiet. Does it mean they don't want Cousins?
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa addressed this on his Twitter account, offering what seems like a valid explanation:
As much as I know everyone wants us to have him I'm not going to disrespect the QBs currently on the roster and make them feel less competent. If he wants to come we'll show him why the team didn't go 0-16 like everyone thought we'd be last year. https://t.co/URrS1Zxsve
— Quincy Enunwa (@QuincyEnunwa) March 7, 2018
In particular, the Jets' locker room has a tremendous amount of respect for Josh McCown, who could wind up back with the team if Cousins signs elsewhere. This doesn't mean players aren't working back channels to lure Cousins; they just haven't done it in a public forum.
6. Deadline looming: The Jets are trying to re-sign a handful of their own pending free agents before they hit the open market. One of their top priorities is cornerback Morris Claiborne. From what I hear, negotiations are progressing and there's a chance they could get something done. If he becomes a free agent, he'd draw interest as soon as the first tier of corners go off the board.
7. No rest for the rested: Christian Hackenberg, who worked in past offseasons with California-based quarterback guru Jordan Palmer, has a new personal instructor -- Jeff Christensen, who has a quarterback academy in Chicago. It's interesting to note that Christensen lists Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo among his clients. Christensen declined to be interviewed about Hackenberg, who is protective of his offseason training habits.