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Jets Free Agency 2012: Salary Cap Primer

As the New York Jets look to move past their nightmare season, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and company figure to keep them prominently involved in the 2012 free agency period.

Though the Jets were naturally one of the first teams listed as a possible destination for Peyton Manning, the extension offered to Mark Sanchez last week effectively removed them from Manning Watch. Sanchez' extension totals five years for $58.25 million with $20.5 million fully guaranteed over the next two seasons.

The Jets also re-signed arguably their top free-agent target in defensive tackle Sione Pouha last week. Pouha agreed to a three-year contract Monday.

Free agency period: March 13, 4 p.m. ET - July 22 (the first scheduled day of NFL training camps)

Salary cap: $120,600,000 per team

Jets cap situation: According to, $7.1 million under at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9. That figure doesn't include the $1.6 million the NFL is distributing to most teams after the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins were penalized a combined $46 million in cap space after piling money into last season's uncapped year.

Restricted Free Agents (4):

WR Patrick Turner - Signed one-year, $875,000 contract
TE Matthew Mulligan
LB Aaron Maybin
LB Jamaal Westerman
CB Marquice Cole

Unrestricted Free Agents (11):

QB Mark Brunell
QB Kevin O'Connell
RB LaDainian Tomlinson
WR Plaxico Burress
OL Robert Turner
DT Sione Pouha
LB Bryan Thomas
CB Donald Strickland
S Jim Leonhard
S Brodney Pool
K Nick Folk