Jets cut five players to clear cap space

2/20/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The New York Jets are made a few roster decisions in an attempt to gain some much needed cap relief on Tuesday by releasing offensive lineman Jason Smith, safety Eric Smith as well as veteran linebackers Calvin Pace and Bart Scott. Tight end Josh Backer was also waived after sitting out the entire 2012 season with a knee injury.
The New York Jets were previously estimated to be $24 million over the 2013 salary cap, but the move frees over $31 million in cap space.
Bart Scott followed Rex Ryan from Baltimore after he became the New York Jets head coach in 2009. The 32-year-old Bart Scott missed just one game with the New York Jets. But age was age was staring to count against Bart Scott as his performance dipped in recent years. Bart Scott recorded 342 tackles and 8 ½ sacks during four seasons with the New York Jets. He was counting over $7 million against the New York Jets’ cap space.
Calvin Pace had been a starter in Rex Ryan’s defense over the past five seasons. But had a low-profile season with the New York Jets last season recording just three sacks (his lowest) with the team. The 32-year-old Calvin Pace finished with 28 sacks and forced 11 fumbles during his time with the New York Jets. He was scheduled to make $11.6 million in 2013.
Jason Smith took the biggest chunk off the New York Jets cap space, counting over $12 million against the 2012 salary cap. The New York Jets had acquired the former second overall pick of the 2009 drafts in a trade with the St. Louis Rams last season, in exchange for offensive tackle Wayne Hunter. While Jason Smith appeared in all 16 games last year, he didn’t make a single start in the 2012 season.
Eric Smith started in 2011, but struggled with knee and hip injuries while backing up LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell last season. He had five interceptions in seven seasons with eth New York Jets. Eric Smith may gather interest in the open market for teams looking for a backup.
Josh Backer finished the 2012 season on the injured reserve after tearing his ACL during last preseason.
The roster cuts were part of the first key decision made by a new New York Jets general manager John Idzik, who replaces Mike Tannenbaum. John Idzik was the Seattle Seahawks’ vice president of football administration for the past five seasons.
With his help, the New York Jets are looking to revive their defense that has slumped in the past two seasons. The New York Jets (6-10) allowed opponents 375 points, their worst since 1996, last season. After releasing Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, the New York Jets could be especially to add depth at linebacker through the April’s draft.
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