The New York Jets have announced that they’ve released OT Jason Smith, S Eric Smith, TE Josh Baker and LB Calvin Pace this afternoon.
Brian Costello tweets that these moves will clear close to $24 million in cap space.
Jason Smith was taken by the Rams with the second overall pick in 2009. He had a $12 million roster bonus coming his way and the fact that he’s struggled mightily to live up to his draft selection makes this seem like a fairly obvious move for the Jets.
Pace, 33, had a cap figure of $8.56 million this season and was no longer an impact player for the Jets’ defense. He’s been very durable in recent years, but there was no way they were going to be able to keep him at that price. He should find at least some interest on the open market, but it’s doubtful that he’ll secure anything better than a one-year contract.
Eric Smith, 29, was set to make $2.4 million for the 2013 season and carried a cap figure close to $3 million. Smith played only 329 snaps last year as a part-time player in the Jets defense.
Baker, 26, had only $555,000 coming his way, so the decision to waive him probably had more to do with the fact that he suffered a torn ACL during the preseason.
It’s a little surprising that New York did not release LB Bart Scott, considering that they could save an additional $8 million by doing so.
Ian Rapoport tweets that Scott’s agent is scheduled to meet with the Jets on Thursday. Rapoport adds that there’s a chance he could be retained if he’s willing to renegotiate his current deal.
Despite all of these moves, the Jets still aren’t in great shape financially, but they will at least have a small amount of cap room to work with. It seems likely that more moves will be coming in the next few days.
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