Scott, one of Ryan’s favorite players and one of the league’s top trash talkers, has been slowed by injuries and had surgery in the offseason to repair torn ligaments in his right big toe. The 32-year-old linebacker had just 60 tackles last year and saw his streak of 119 consecutive games end because of the toe injury.
Scott was due to make $6.9 million next season, and saves the Jets $7.1 million on the cap with his release. There’s a chance Scott could come back at a lesser salary, but Demario Davis, the team’s third-round draft pick out of Arkansas State last year, is expected to slide into Scott’s inside linebacker role opposite David Harris.
Scott spent his first seven NFL seasons in Baltimore along with Ryan, and followed the coach to New York when Ryan was hired in 2009. Scott signed a six-year, $48 million contract, and was a playmaker in his first two seasons with New York, helping the Jets reach consecutive AFC championship games.
But he slowed on the field the last few seasons, and had issues off the field. When the team was cleaning out its lockers following the regular-season finale in 2011, Scott made an obscene gesture in front of a cameraman and was fined $10,000 by the team. He also criticized fans for being harsh on the team by telling the Daily News that they were probably “picked last in dodgeball all through high school.” He also told Newsday that they probably couldn’t make it through “a high school practice.”
Pace, a 2003 first-round pick by Arizona, spent his first five seasons with the Cardinals before signing a six-year deal with the Jets in 2008. He had seven sacks in his first season in New York, and eight the following year, but never became the dominant pass rusher the Jets envisioned.