With roster bonuses due before the start of free agency on Friday the Jets started trimming more fat by releasing veteran RB Derrick Blaylock and DT Bobby Hamilton. Jets Insider.com has also learned that the team will release DT Kimo Von Oelhoffen and QB Patrick Ramsey on Thursday. None of the moves have officially been annouced by the team.
Niether cut today was surprising considering Blaylock was healthy yet inactive for 2/3 of the season last year and the 36 year old Hamilton was due $1.5MM in salary for this upcoming season. The Jets may look to bring back Hamilton, who was acquired from the Raiders last year, at a lower salary. The cutting of Blaylock saves the Jets $585K against this years cap.
Von Oelhoffen is slated to make $1.8MM this season and is due a $600K roster bonus on Friday so he is a goner. The 12 year veteran was brought in last season from the Steelers but made little impact with only 17 tackles and 1 sack. Thereís a chance the Jets may also try to bring him back at a lower number.
Ramsey is due a $1.4MM roster bonus on Friday and the Jets will not pay it. There were reports surfacing today that the team was looking to trade the veteran QB but there is little interest, especially since the entire NFL knows heíll be a free agent come Friday. The release of Ramsey will save the Jets an additional $2MM ($600K base + $1.4MM RB) against the teamís cap.
The team will also let last year starters T Anthony Clement and FB BJ Askew become free agents. Clement did a formidable job at tackle for the Jets last year and the team will try to re-sign him. Askew on the other hand, never gelled at FB after replacing Jerald Sowell and lost a lot of playing time to the stronger veteran James Hodgins who the Jets signed as a FA during the season.
Interesting new on the market free agents today include Ravens RB Jamal Lewis who was released today who could be a nice replacement for Curtis Martin and Washington TE Christian Fauria who played several years in New England and could be a nice cheap veteran compliment to Chris Baker.
The Jets are also keeping a close eye on Ravens LB Adalius Thomas who could be a FA on Friday if Baltimore does not come to contract terms with him. Thomas made the Pro-Bowl last season and is a talented multi-faceted LB who fits well in Manginiís 3-4 defense. If heís becomes available, signing Thomas will no easy task as he will be very sought after and will be looking for a contract in the $30-40MM range.