In the immediate aftermath of a failed 2011 season, Newsday reported that the Jets wouldn’t bring back linebacker Bart Scott. Since then, the situation gradually has moved to a point where it’s now 180 degrees opposite of where it started.
Coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday that Scott will indeed be back with the team in 2012, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
“Why wouldn’t [he be back]?” Ryan said. “I know everything is reported or whatever . . . I can say this: I’ve had great discussions with Bart.”
One reason Scott wouldn’t be back is that G.M. Mike Tannenbaum publicly has said that “all options are on the table” regarding Scott.
Here’s another reason. Scott previously received permission to seek a trade, and his agent has said that Scott is “extremely frustrated” with the team.
The problem is that the Jets owe Scott $4.2 million in guaranteed pay this year, making it harder to use the trade option.
With the Jets unable to move Scott, they need to make chicken salad. And one of the goals, apparently, will be to get Scott to eat less chicken salad, in the hopes of keeping him on the field for more plays.
“We were going to use him as a blitzer [last year] and he kind of got his weight up,” Ryan said. “He dropped his weight back down a little. . . . The longer you go in your career, sometimes it’s better to lose a little weight. . . . Sometimes it just makes sense to take a little weight off. Bart is still a ferocious hitter. He brings that kind of intimidating presence to us.”
And so the Jets and Scott will be finding a way to continue their relationship. There were several reasons to move on. In the end, there are 4.2 million reasons to try to make it work.