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Jets Cut Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, $30 Million In Salary

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Tuesday was chopping block day for the NY Jets. When all was totaled five players and $30.7 million dollars were sliced from the payroll and the roster.

The biggest of the cuts were linebacker Bart Scott, he of the “can’t stop a nosebleed” and “can’t wait” soundbite fame. Both of those quotes came after the Jets upset the New England Patriots in the AFC semi-finals in what now seems like 20 years ago. The cut of Scott will save the Jets $7.2 million this season. Scott was the first “big” free agent signed in the Rex Ryan Era.

Also becoming a cap casualty yesterday was linebacker Calvin Pace. By waiving him the Jets will save over $8 million in cap space. Pace did a decent job with the Jets but his sack numbers aren’t what the club had hoped for. In five seasons with the Jets, Pace got to the QB only 28 times. He was a decent ball hawk as well forcing 11 fumbles.

The Jets also cut offensive lineman Jason Smith whom they acquired from the Rams for useless OT Wayne Hunter. It was a deal of the two teams getting rid of each others non-productive players. Smith was a first round pick of the Rams (second overall in 2009) but has been a total bust. The Jets saved an astonishing $12 million ($11.25 million in roster bonuses alone) by waiving Smith.

Another Smith also was a  ”victim” of the Jets cap problems. Safety Eric Smith was moved out saving $3 million on his deal. The Jets also said goodbye to tight end Josh Baker.

The dramatic moves by the Jets took them right under the league’s salary cap. They started the day well over the hard salary cap the NFL has. At the end of the payroll shedding the Jets now find themselves $5.7 million under the cap. How this affects the offseason shopping planned by new GM John Idzik will be seen in the near future. Rumors persist that the Jets could bring back Scott for a lesser salary.

Personally I wouldn’t mind if the Jets talked to Pace about returning to the fold. Although some will claim Pace failed to live up to expectations as he wasn’t a big sack guy with the Arizona Cardinals whom drafted Pace.

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