It's official: Jets have about $55 million in cap space

After weeks of speculation, the final salary-cap number is official: $143.28 million per team, it was announced Monday.

What does that mean for the New York Jets? Well, it means they have a lot of money to spend. Let's explain exactly how much.

The Jets' adjusted cap is $156.15 million, according to the NFLPA. That figure includes the carryover from last season, $12.6 million -- i.e. unused cap space. Former general manager John Idzik got ripped for being frugal, but there was a method to his madness, so to speak. Unfortunately for him, he's not around to reap the benefits of his plan.

Right now, the Jets have $97.5 million committed to the 2015 cap, according to ESPN research.The amount of "dead" money (old contracts still on the cap) also must be factored into the equation. For the Jets, it's $3.4 million, per ESPN. These numbers will vary slightly, depending on the source. I can't really explain why; it's just one of the mysteries of the salary-cap world in which we live.

Anyway, when you crunch these numbers, it comes out to $55 million in cap space. The Jets will recoup another $10.5 million if they release wide receiver Percy Harvin.

As we explained in a previous post, the Jets have to dole out some serious cash to stay in line with the league's minimum-spending requirement. Their cash payroll for 2015 and 2016 needs to average about $141 million to remain in compliance. To hit $141 million this year, they'll have to raise the actual payroll by more than $60 million.

In other words, they can re-sign David Harris, extend Muhammad Wilkerson's contract, sign two or three top free agents and take a cruise around the world without even sweating the cap.