In an effort to generate cap space on a roster well above the projected $121-plus million salary cap for 2013, the New York Jets announced five cuts on Tuesday that saved the team $31.265 million in cap space. Among the well-known names includes Bart Scott as well as offensive tackle Jason Smith, followed by safety Eric Smith, outside linebacker Calvin Pace and tight end/fullback Josh Baker.
Bart Scott: Probably the one player most teams will seek out for conversation and we could actually see Scott and Mike Zimmer bonding beautifully. If you're completely willing to sign Scott and drop the whole Vontaze Burfict experiment while looking for someone that generated a higher missed tackle rate than Rey Maualuga last year and offering a mediocre number of tackles, by all means.
But you could move him to outside linebacker.
Now you're just being silly. Outside linebacker doesn't have the same responsibilities as inside and requires a little coverage ability. In the past three seasons, Scott's opposing quarterback rating is 110.4, 95.0, 96.9, 107.7 and 90.1. At least he's a pass rusher, right? Not really. He rushed the quarterback 70 times last year and produced six hurries and three hits to go along with 2.5 quarterback sacks.
Jason Smith: If you're electing to sign Jason Smith in place of Andre Smith because he's a cheaper solution, then frankly, you've given up. If signing Andre Smith isn't a realistic possibility you either franchise him, or reset your offseason plans to include at least one offensive tackle during the NFL draft that we keep hearing is so deep. There's a reason why two teams have already axed their attempted Jason Smith experiments, which includes injuries and a general mediocrity to his overall production.
At this rate Jason Smith figures to re-position himself for a fight on a team's depth chart, maybe even with a limited salary. If that's the case for backing up starters, fine. Otherwise don't apply Smith as your end-game offseason gameplan. That's why we were stuck with Mike Brown and the 90s.
The Rest: We actually accept a more likely scenario that the team could find some interest in Eric Smith and Calvin Pace, due to the Bengals overall issues in the secondary and the obsession with otherwise average veteran outside linebackers on the strongside. Smith generated an opposing quarterback rating of 61.7 and a completion rate of 42.1 percent against receivers he covered in the secondary. Though the question about both players isn't really an upgrade in comparison to what the Bengals have employed in recent seasons.
This is the Jets we're talking about.