This may just be the first big mistake of the Jets 2012 season.
It appears that many fans believe Scott, who joined the Jets in 2009 during free agency, is overpaid and overrated. Fans believe that his inability to cover on passing downs and falling snap count make him a player the Jets could do without.
Perhaps that is the case. Perhaps, the Jets could let Bart Scott leave this season, freeing up cap space to make another move.
Well no, they can’t. You see, the Jets guaranteed all of Scott’s contract for the 2012 season as they pursued Nnamdi Asomugha to come and play second fiddle to Darrelle Revis in the Jets secondary. When the cornerback jolted for Philadelphia instead of New York, the Jets were stuck with Scott’s guaranteed contract. No refunds in the NFL.
So in this case, the Jets won’t be freeing up any cap space by getting rid of the undrafted linebacker for next season. All $4.2 million dollars of Scott’s contract will be paid to him by the Jets, regardless of where he plays football.
With that, it’s in the Jets best interest to keep him.
The Jets saw last season what losing leaders in the locker room can do for team chemistry. The Jets entered 2011 as competitors for the super bowl and ended up looking like a team in need of help from Dr. Phil.
Scott may not be the nicest guy to the media, as evident by him flipping them off as he left the locker room for the last time in January. But it’s fair to assume that the man whom Rex brought over from Baltimore to be his defensive leader is well respected in the locker room.
If the Jets want to keep a leader on their team that they have to pay regardless, the “madbacker” shouldn’t be traded from the Jets. Besides, what is General Manager Mike Tannenbaum going to receive in a deal centered around a 31-year-old linebacker that they are shopping? A fifth-round pick at best?
It’s not worth it. Besides, it’s not like Scott is useless for this Jets team. Scott is still one of the best run stoppers on this team and opens up holes to make fellow inside linebacker David Harris look better. Even if he spends this year in a rotational role on mostly running downs, him being on the field is a good thing for this team.
I doubt Scott will be able to find a team willing to trade for him in general. But the Jets should not be allowing this regardless. If you keep Scott, you can draft a linebacker this upcoming April and allow him to learn from Scott for a full year.