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Jets Drop Several Vets to Create Cap Space

Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Eric Smith highlight list of cuts

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013  |  Updated 2:36 PM EDT
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Pace will be chasing a job now that the Jets have cut him loose.

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Like the other 31 teams in the NFL, the Jets have until March 12 to make the necessary moves to get their payroll under the league's $121.5 million salary cap for the 2013 season. 

They aren't waiting around to make the moves. The Jets announced four moves on Tuesday that slashed about $30 million from the cap. 

Linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, safety Eric Smith and tackle Jason Smith were all released and tight end Josh Baker was waived as the Jets tried to unravel the ugly salary cap situation left by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum's machinations. The moves bring the Jets just about in line with the cap, which means they have more work to do if they are going to be able to actually add any players in free agency. 

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None of the moves were a surprise. Scott was a liability on anything other than running plays right at him and he wasn't getting any better at this point in his career. 

Pace plays a position that called for great pass rushing ability and showed almost none of it the last two years as the Jets floundered. There probably isn't a Jets fan alive who has a memory of Eric Smith that doesn't include him missing tackles that led to crushing touchdowns (Victor Cruz and Tim Tebow in 2011 are notables on that list) or getting beaten deep down the field on passing plays. 

Jason Smith was acquired simply to get rid of Wayne Hunter and the former second overall pick didn't register at all in his one season with the Jets. Baker is just a guy and the Jets already have plenty of them on the roster. 

There's an old joke about lawyers that asks what you call 1,000 attorneys at the bottom of the ocean. The punchline? A good start. 

You could say the same about Tuesday's moves by the Jets because there's still much to be done to get the Jets pointed back in the right direction. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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