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Sione Pouha: Stay or Go?

Ronald Martinez

The re-signing of Sione Pouha last year is a great example of the dangers of giving big money to an old player. Pouha had turned himself into an excellent nose tackle. He was coming off his best season. Most fans (including me) were very pleased to see the new contract.

Back issues sunk Pouha in 2012. They limited him to 12 games. After the fourth week of the season, he only played more than 21 snaps once. While he was in there, the now 34 year old Pouha was much less effective than he had been at any point since taking over as a starter in 2009. He did not command double teams or hold the point of attack consistently.

Cutting Pouha would save the cap strapped Jets a shade under $4 million. This is part of the equation. The other part is how Sione plays into the future plans of this team, and that is even if his uncertain health situation clears up. At his age, he does not. Kenrick Ellis might. The Jets still do not really know what they have in Ellis. In what figures to be a transitional year, it is time to find out. That makes Pouha an odd man out.

If he can prove medically that his back is fine, it is conceivable a team swimming in cap space might be willing to part with a conditional late round pick for Pouha. More likely, his tenure would end in a cut. Either way, I think it is time for the Jets to thank him for his service and go in a new direction.