Who Will the New York Jets Cut Ties with This Upcoming Offseason?

Patrick Minton@@PatrickMintonContributor IIOctober 11, 2012

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 04:  New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and team owner Woody Johnson confer during the Jets Rookie Minicamp on May 4, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Mike Tannenbaum has received a lot of criticism for his lack of moves this past offseason to help bolster the aging New York Jets roster. 

Fans are calling for changes, and those changes may include finding a new GM if this season continues to progress in its present direction. 

Tannenbaum has done an incredibly poor job of supplying head coach Rex Ryan with depth across the board. 

Injuries have crippled the Jets early on this season, there is no doubt.  But injuries are part of the NFL and every team must head into the season prepared to combat this issue, an issue that Mike Tannenbaum has done little to address. 

Rex Ryan had been fortunate enough to have abnormally healthy rosters in his first two years in New York—19 of his 22 starters played 14 games or more games during each of those seasons.

The core of the Jets' roster was ready to win at the beginning of Rex Ryan's tenure, having made two consecutive runs to the AFC Championship. But unlike some of the elite General Managers, Tannenbaum has struggled to reload the talent while still remaining relevant. 

There are so many players on the current roster who are likely candidates to be cut that most of the blame must be put on the man who signed these players.

In recent years, the team has invested the bulk of their cash on the defense—a staple in Rex Ryan's coaching formula. 

This season, the defense has not been nearly as stout, so it becomes an unavoidable issue that players on the defensive side of the ball are not earning their money.

Linebacker Bart Scott signed a hefty contract with the Jets in 2009. Scott has certainly contributed to stopping the run and providing leadership, yet the defensive unit as a whole has continued to lack a quality pass rush with Ryan at the helm.

Bart will be owed about $7 million if the team decides to cut him, but the move would save the Jets $1.25 million towards the salary cap. 

The plan going forward seems to be for Demario Davis—the third round pick from the 2012 draft—to fill Scott's spot, supplying a spark of youth and speed as a cheaper alternative.

Scott's salary is simply too much for a player who can no longer play every down. This issue must be addressed.

Additionally, linebacker Calvin Pace signed with the Jets for big money in 2008 as an elite pass rusher, but has failed to live up to the billing.

The linebacker unit is crucial to the Jets' defense and playmakers must be inserted into these positions to generate the pass rushing attack that Ryan needs.

Pace would be owed $9 million this year if cut—a move that would save the Jets nearly $2 million against the cap, money that could be put to use acquiring a more effective pass rusher.

Most people get the feeling that Woody Johnson relishes Rex Ryan's tendency to be the focal point in the media, which would lead to the assumption that his job is safe.

As long as Ryan is in town, the Jets will remain a defensive minded team, a standard the roster must reflect.

Under Ryan, this team was never elite offensively, so there are plenty of player names on the offensive side of the ball that should be mentioned when discussing cuts. 

This team went to the AFC championship because of their defense. This is an identity that Rex must regain.