How the Jets managed to pull off a 1-for-6 deal in free agency

This probably is a good time to get everyone up to speed on the New York Jets' salary-cap situation.

Remember the enormous amount of cap space at the start of free agency, approximately $40 million? Well, it has shrunk to $9.37 million, according to NFLPA records.

In this time frame, the Jets have retained seven of their own free agents and added six new players. That ate up about $31 million in cap room. It doesn't include guard Brian Winters, whom they re-signed before the Great Roster Purge that created all the space.

The costliest new additions were left tackle Kelvin Beachum ($12 million guarantee) and quarterback Josh McCown ($6 million), while the most expensive keepers were Winters ($15 million) and tackle Ben Ijalana ($3 million).

The Jets shopped for volume. For instance: Instead of signing a big-name left tackle such as Russell Okung ($25 million), they landed Beachum, McCown, cornerback Morris Claiborne, kicker Chandler Catanzaro, wide receiver Quinton Patton and center Jonotthan Harrison for less than the Okung guarantee.

They were interested in Okung, but the price got too high -- ridiculously high, in my opinion. He wound up signing with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Jets used the money to sign six players, three of whom could be opening-day starters.

So what now? The Jets have seven draft picks and an $8.1 million rookie pool, according to overthecap.com. Because of the top-51 rule (only the top 51 count against the cap), it'll eat up only $4.8 million to sign the draft picks, leaving about $4.5 million -- not a huge cushion.

At some point, they may have to release a player or two. They can clear $6 million if they designate injured safety Marcus Gilchrist as a post-June 1 cut. Injured wide receiver Eric Decker would save $7.25 million under the June 1 designation.

Then, of course, there's defensive end Sheldon Richardson, who likely will be shopped before or during the draft. They'd wipe his entire salary ($8.1 million) off the cap if they find a taker.