Jets clear over $30 million with several roster cuts
Though the Jets were scheduled to meet with Bart Scott's agent on Thursday to discuss a restructured contract, they decided to cut him loose shortly after the first wave of released players.
With these roster moves, the Jets have saved about $32 million in cap space, leaving them about $9 million under the salary cap. It's still not an ideal situation for the Jets, and more cuts are certainly a possibility.
Middle linebacker Bart Scott is the biggest name that the Jets have cut today, as he helped revolutionize the Jets' defense after coming over with head coach Rex Ryan from the Baltimore Ravens. He's still a decent player against the run, but hit the sidelines for passing situations in 2012. He'll likely receive some short-term offers loaded with incentives on the open market.
Outside linebacker Calvin Pace was a beast when he first came to the Jets in 2008, but is now much less effective at the age of 32. He's likely to draw similar contract offers to what Scott receives.
Offensive tackle Jason Smith was the second overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, but is nothing more than a bust. He got in two games for the Jets in 2012, and didn't draw a single start.
Safety Eric Smith has been a Jet since being drafted by the team in 2006, but didn't get a ton of action in 2012 behind the safety tandem of LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. He'll draw interest mostly as a backup and special teams player.
The Jets now may look for some help at linebacker in the draft, as their defensive line and secondary are both pretty strong already.
They may have cleared enough cap space to pay Roger Goodell's annual salary, but they still won't make any sort of splash in free agency.
Another big name who could be cut loose is Sione Pouha, who is due $4.9 million in 2013. Pouha was one of the NFL's top defensive tackles in 2011, but dropped off in 2012 while dealing with a back injury and just turned 34 years old.