Mike Maccagnan says Jets will be 'very active' in free agency

Unlike his predecessor, Mike Maccagnan is planning to take an aggressive approach in free agency.

"Building through the draft is ideally what I'd like to do, but we'll be very active in free agency," the New York Jets' new general manager said Tuesday via the team.

Maccagnan, who will be formally introduced with Todd Bowles in an 11 a.m. news conference Wednesday, touched briefly on his team-building philosophy. He said his objective is to fill "some" needs in free agency, allowing him to take a best-available-player approach to the draft -- basically, the Mike Tannenbaum model.

John Idzik tried it a different way, emphasizing the draft and using free agency as a supplement. That didn't work out so well.

Before we anoint Maccagnan as Spender Mike, it's important to note that he's required to dole out a lot of money. There's something called the "89 percent Rule."

The collective bargaining agreement requires teams to spend 89 percent of the salary cap in cash over four-year periods, from 2013 to 2016 and 2017 to 2020. In 2014, the Jets were 30th in spending ($106.295 million) and are below the 89-percent threshold since 2013 at 84.56 percent, according to CBSSports.com.

In other words, the Jets probably will have to spend a good chunk of the projected $40 million in cap space to remain on track for compliance.

Maccagnan didn't have too much to say about his quarterback situation. Asked if he likes Geno Smith, he said, "I do like Geno in terms of aspects of his play," adding that he hasn't had enough time to form a definitive evaluation. Maccagnan said he's looking forward to getting acquainted with Smith.