According to several published reports the New York Jets are going to start addressing their salary cap issues (currently $19 million over the cap) by cutting linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace. Both of these moves have been predicted for months as the team would save close to $16 million dollars. In addition the team is expected to cut offensive lineman Jason Smith ($12 million dollar savings) and safety Eric Smith ($3 million dollar savings) as well.
While many are going to celebrate these moves and the cap space that is created lets not forget that the talent being cut needs to be replaced. Bart Scott, while mostly known for his mouth, played an important role on the Jets defense. Bart did a lot of the dirty work on defense, like taking on blockers, in order for other guys to make plays. Scott brought a very physical attitude to the Jets, one that was missing under the former regime. As for Calvin Pace, he did not put up the sack numbers that many of us expected. But at the same time Pace was a versatile linebacker that filled many roles on defense.
Demario Davis is expected to replace to Bart Scott, while the Jets could look to the draft to replace Calvin. Keep in mind Bryan Thomas will more than likely not be re-signed leaving another starting linebacker position open. It is safe to say that Gang Green’s linebacking group is undergoing an overhaul, lets just hope that it is with the right players. This team desperately needs an infusion of talented, speedy backers that can attack ball carriers and quarterbacks.