I, for one, am not a huge fan of Dan Leberfield of Jets Confidential (yes, he's that guy in the press conferences that says his name before he speaks EVERY time). Anyway, he wrote a tidbit regarding Bart Scott:
But one [decision] that should be on the list, that you won't see much in the media or at all, is whether linebacker Bart Scott should be back.
Bart has a lot of reporters in the palm of his hand.
Wow. That is some strong opinions from Mr. Leberfield, mostly because he is accusing Scott of befriending reporters to sway them from writing negative articles about him.
I, for one, think that is extremely inaccurate; I have seen plenty of writers go after Scott for his sub-par performance last Sunday. Scott is not the type of player to think that beat writers have any influence over personnel decisions (because they don't). Mike Tannenbuam has many several unpopular moves amongst the media, such as releasing Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca.
More to the point, is Bart living up to his $8 million paycheck? Not exactly. That's money that only the top players make. Scott, while unspectacular, has enjoyed a quietly productive season. The Jets were good against the run all year, and Bart was definitely a part of that. He is one of the better coverage linebackers on the Jets roster, and knows the system inside and out. Now, he's not going to blow up guards on a regular basis, but he is a solid starter. Scott and Harris make up one of the top ILB tandems in the NFL.
While he did play poorly in Pittsburgh, it would be difficult for the Jets to flat-out cut the guy over one game. He and Rex are obviously very close; to cut a player like Bart would certainly shake up the locker room.
However, to ask for a pay-cut would not be out of the question, however unlikely. The Jets are the ones who camped outside his door in the spring of 2009, waiting to land him a big-time contract. It's not like he held out for a deal. The Jets made this contract, and they either can cut the player or honor it. The Jets front office has certainly been questioned by Jets players for being schrewd before; cutting Thomas Jones to save a couple hundered grand tops the list. To try to save a buck by risking losing a core leader of the team is certainly a risky move.
Therefore, I say to Mr. Leberfield that you are wasting your time with a non-story. Leberfield is the same reporter that asked if secondary coach Dennis Thurman was ever on thin ice after a few communication issues against Houston. (Thurman, by the way, was requested to interview for the Raiders DC job today, and the Jets denied permission). Beat writers like Leberfield tend to look at stats or one glaring play and make judgments. Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine has even said that Bart is having a better year than last year.
I don't think Scott has anything to worry about.