Cap Casualties the Jets and Wayne Hunter

I'm going to try to avoid the urge to post just to post and save it for when there is something worthwhile to say. I came across an article on today about who might be cut in the coming weeks for various reasons. Money, performance, injuries, and age will cause teams to cut loose guys that can't cut it. If you want to see the article it's .

There were a couple guys that I was interested in when I saw the names. Most notably, were Marcus McNeil who plays left tackle for the Chargers. He was a dominant 6'7 320 pound OT taken in the 2nd round a few years back. He dropped a little because of back issues. There was also Jason Smith a 1st round pick of the Rams in 09 who hasn't panned out as a left tackle. Then I've heard names like Kareem McKenzie formally of the Jets and currently of the Giants. That made me wonder, just how bad is Wayne Hunter and how can you accurately gauge him against other lineman since there aren't a lot of statistics around to measure what he's doing and not doing. Join me to find out after the jump.

When you look at the league of 32 teams, and 2 tackles starting per team, that gives you 64 tackles. Where does Wayne sit in the rankings? This is a link to a site that tracks hits, sacks, and pressures and tallies them up. It also adds in total plays on offense and gives a percentage of blocking on passing plays. Wayne, to no surprise is not high on the list. However, he's not the bottom of the list either. So for all of you that posted you don't understand why the team didn't cut him. Here's why.

If you look at the list of tackles, there are around 15-20 starting tackles rated below him, including the Giants Kareem McKenzie. Wayne Hunters blocking effieciency is 93.5%. In other words, if he plays 100 snaps he gets it right 94 out of 100 times. Add to that, running plays run at the right tackle averaged 4.2 yards per carry. That was tops on the Jets line in running plays I believe. If you wondering, or don't feel like clicking the link, the top 20 tackles graded out at 97%, or just 3 more completed blocks per 100 attempts. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way a huge Wayne Hunter fan, but I do see him for what he is. A cheap and affordable 6th man. His salary which is 2.5 million illustrates what he is. It's not a starter's salary, but not a bench players either. Although the salary is guaranteed, there is no bonus in it. He can be cut, restructured or whatever, and it wouldn't effect the salary cap. For 2.5 and a guy that has starting experience, that's not bad.

I'm expecting a crazy off season with the Payton Manning situation, and this being the first season since the new bargaining agreement with a full off season where teams can scout, manage, and address players without having to scramble. The Jets are in good position to not have to worry about a draft if they can pick up a player like Marcus McNeil to man the right side, and move Hunter back to 6th man. Or they can go for a reclamation project in 1st rounder Jason Smith, and a move from left to right tackle will up his game. He was known as a good pass blocker before the Rams ruined him.

Other free agents of interest to me personally are John Abraham who is a former Jet and great pass rusher, and Dwight Lowery another former Jet and good play maker at safety. Free agency should be used to augment with inexpensive castoffs or role players as a team builds through drafting. Both Abraham and Lowery represent good value at needed positions, and inexpensive signings. The Jets then have flexibility to draft players at the same positions or best available, and cover all the bases. They can draft pass rushers like Upshaw, Perry, or Curry and already have Abraham, Maybin in the fold. Or they can draft Barron later on and already have a free safety in Lowery.

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And I"m out.

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