The case of Bart Scott is one of the most interesting ones we will examine. Since the day the season ended, there were reports that the Jets had no intention to bring Bart back in 2012. Recently we heard he has been given permission to seek a trade. Odds are the Jets are not going to have him back.
I think Bart is a very good player who is not a very good value for the Jets. The contract he signed three years ago averages $8 million per season. I think it was worth it. The Jets had a hole to fill, Bart has teamed with David Harris to form one of the top inside linebacker duos in the league, and Scott helped the transition to Rex Ryan's defense since he was familiar with Rex in Baltimore. Scott can be underappreciated because of the dirty work he does. Against the run, he flies to the football. He doesn't always make the tackle, but he either forces the runner to redirect into another defender or sacrifices his body to take out a key blocker, freeing up somebody else to clean up with a tackle.
Bart is also limited in his ability in coverage. He has declined against the pass since his days in Baltimore. The Jets have a highly paid run stopper next to him in David Harris. Because Harris is a superior player, Bart seldom sees the field in critical games against teams frequently utilizing spread formations like the Patriots that force the Jets to put extra defensive backs in. When he is in, teams with good tight ends have a field day exploiting how slow the Jets' linebackers and safeties are in coverage. Gang Green already has a better expensive run stopper in David Harris. They probably need to compliment him better with a parter who can cover better.
Even with all of this, the timing of the decision the Jets are apparently going to make to move on from Scott is odd. According to NYJetsCap.com, getting rid of Bart will cost $1.2 million more against the salary cap than keeping him would. If you read between the lines, there seems to be more to the story. Bart reworked his contract when the Jets tried to sign Nnamdi Asomugha, and there are reports he is not willing to rework his deal again. One cannot help but wonder whether perhaps Scott has been one of the mystery malcontents who led to a bad locker room situation this year. Some reports have made subtle suggestions this might be the case.
I tend to be against moves that involve both getting rid of good players and hurting the salary cap situation so I want Bart to stay. I do think the Jets need to look into finding a faster player better in coverage to groom as his replacement. How about you?