With former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan taking the Jets over and plenty of cap space to spend, it was only logical the Jets would pursue one of Baltimore's two star inside linebackers to fill their need at the position. The Jets made Bart Scott their first choice over Ray Lewis. Lewis has a better track record and will without a doubt be remembered as the better player. However, Gang Green chose wisely for two reasons.
1. Age: Scott is 28 and in the prime of his career. Lewis is still playing at a high level but is 34. It could all fall off a cliff for him at any time. Barring something unforseen, Scott is virtually guaranteed of a few more good seasons. The Jets would have had to give either a big deal. Scott has less wear and tear and does not have Father Time sneaking up on him unlike Lewis.
2. Skill Set: Lewis is a great player and can still help a lot of teams. However, the Jets do not need a physical linebacker whose forte is playing the run. This team already has David Harris. Gang Green needed somebody who could play at a high level in pass coverage. Scott is that guy. The fact Scott is also good playing the run is an added bonus. Lewis definitely would have been an upgrade over Eric Barton, but the linebacking corps would have still been glaringly deficient against the pass. If he did not bring what the Jets really needed from the position, he would not have been worth the money, regardless of his ability.