The Jets want you to have all of their players. Just take them, and take them now.
The season of salary purging is very much alive in New York, and it will soon mercifully be followed by the season for irrelevant and useless quarterback jettisoning. But that’s a conversation for another day, unless of course you believe in some kind of warped religion. Then please, discuss.
Today, though, is a day for shedding excess financial weight. That started with the Jets’ widespread axings earlier this afternoon that included Jason Smith, Eric Smith, Calvin Pace, and Josh Baker. With those cuts, the Jets trimmed $24 million off of their payroll, but even then they were still $2 million over the cap, according to ESPN’s John Clayton.
Hmmm, what to do? Maybe — and we’re reaching here — something could be done about a declining 32-year-old linebacker who’s due to make $6.9 million in 2013 during the final season of a contract, and reaching an agreement on an extension seems both unlikely and unwise.
Sounds good. Someone get Bart Scott on the phone.
The Jets and new general manager John Idzik were originally scheduled to meet with Scott this Thursday, but when it became apparent that the financial gap between the two sides was too wide, that rendezvous was useless. So he was also cut this afternoon, a move that saves the team $7.15 million against the cap, meaning in total today they cleared off over $30 million.
Scott was once great, and he was once among the game’s elite linebackers. That time ended around, oh, 2008 or so, shortly after he was an All-Pro in 2006. In 2012 he registered a career low 36 tackles, which came a season after he was on the field for only 677 defensive snaps — his lowest total at that time as a Jet — and last February he was granted permission to seek a trade. Oddly, it turns out the market for declining veteran linebackers is pretty thin each spring.
So bring forth your new Jets defensive kingdom and tear the old one down, as they now have holes at both safety and linebacker to fill either through offseason moves, or internal promotions (most likely/almost definitely the latter). The players cut today made a combined 167 starts during their Jets careers.