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New York Jets: Why Gang Green Is Stuck with Bart Scott

NEW YORK - APRIL 20:  (EDITORS NOTE: IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY MANIPULATED) Bart Scott of the New York Jets poses for a portrait on April 20, 2009 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Aaron JacobsContributor IIIMarch 27, 2012

It's no secret to the New York Jets were shopping linebacker Bart Scott and could not find a new home for the "Mad Backer" most likely due to his contract.

Rex Ryan came to the Jets in 2009 and he brought some players with him from the Baltimore Ravens, including Jim Leonhard and Bart Scott.

The thought of an intimidating defense in New York was sure to get fans excited, and as a whole the Jets defense has been outstanding under head coach Rex Ryan.

In 2009, the New York Jets ranked first in total defense. In 2010, Ryan's second full season, the Jets ranked third in total defense. In 2011, the Jets defense fell slightly to fifth in total defense.

However, the players that Ryan brought with him have not played up to expectations.

When the New York Jets were pursuing Scott, they were in competition with the Baltimore Ravens, and many people believed that he used the Ravens to get more money from the Jets. His strategy worked and he received a six-year, $48 million deal from the Jets, a very lucrative contract for a linebacker.

Two years later, it looks like Scott got the better end of the deal.

Scott might have increased his sack total in 2011, but he was taken out in many passing downs because of his inability to drop back in coverage.

Scott's numbers are slowly dwindling each season

From 2005-08, with the Ravens, Scott was consistent at around 80-100 tackles per season. With the Jets, Scott went from 92 tackles in 2009, to 81 total tackles in 2010 and in 2011 the total tackles fell to 66 total tackles.

It's difficult to gauge tackles in the NFL because he is the second middle linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Also, Scott was taken out a great deal in third-down passing situations, as I mentioned previously.

What hurt the New York Jets is that last summer they restructured Scott's contract, which meant he took a $ 1 million pay cut last summer so that the Jets could sign more free agents.

The reason why Scott agreed to such a deal is because it locked in his 2012 salary, which is $5.9 million. If the Jets cut Scott, they would be liable to pay his salary, so the move wouldn't work.

The New York Jets are backed into a corner unless another team is willing to take the contract off their hands, and who would want to take a chance on a diminishing linebacker who is 32 years old?

Scott has openly voiced his anger over his diminished role in the Jets defense.

Ryan and Woody Johnson have recently spoken about Scott. They expect him to be back and play well for the Jets this season. Ryan actually spoke about Scott's weight and that he believes a lighter "mad backer" could rejuvenate his career and increase his role in the defense.

So, the Jets will be stuck with Scott for the upcoming season and the most they can do is hope that he comes to camp in shape and still wants to play for the team.

Who else "can't wait" to see how the awkward situation between the New York Jets and Scott plays out this season?

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