Florham Park, NJ, United States (4E Sports) – The New York Jets have created much-needed salary-cap space by releasing four players, including veteran linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, safety Eric Smith and tackle Jason Smith.
The moves have resulted in $30.7 million in cap relief, putting the Jets about $5.7 million under the cap.
“Every one of these players was a major contributor to our football team,” coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday. “I was very impressed with Jason this past season while Bart, Calvin and Eric have been an instrumental part of our defense for the past four years.”
Scott’s release came as a surprise as he was not included in the initial announcement of cuts. In fact, his agent, Harold Lewis was expected to meet with team officials at the scouting combine to discuss his client’s future.
“The door is not closed with the Jets, and this allows us to really work the market as a free agent while in Indy,” Lewis later told ESPN.com.
Scott, who was due to count $8.7 million against the cap, will likely be replaced by second-year linebacker Demario Davis.
Scott, together with Pace and Eric Smith, could draw interest from the Buffalo Bills, where they will be reunited with former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
The release of Jason Smith was expected considering his $12 million cap figure, which included an $11.25 million roster bonus the Jets inherited from the St. Louis Rams.
Jason Smith’s entire $12 million salary is wiped off the Jets’ cap, room that they could use to acquire players from the open market.