In a vacuum, the Brandon Tanev contract is not a bad one at all. He took a pay cut from his rookie deal and the contract is easily buried in the AHL. However, hockey is not played in a vacuum and the Jets have a history of overplaying bad hockey players.
Chris Thorburn was the first player moved up in the lineup for years. This was most notable the season Evander Kane was traded when it seemed like he was always on the second or third line. If Tanev becomes this player, the contract becomes bad for the team. However, the Jets have more depth than ever before and hopefully they utilize it properly. If a player like Jack Roslovic or Kyle Connor starts the season in the AHL, it would make sense to only call them up if they are going to play in the top-nine.
The Jets have signed a player like Tanev in the past and overused him. If Tanev is simply a player who plays the odd game or is sent to the AHL and not played in the top-nine this signing has little consequence for the Jets. If he is a regular in the lineup and plays in the top-nine frequently, it becomes a problem.