The Jets ended a competition for the starting left guard job on Wednesday.
Coach Rex Ryan said that Matt Slauson will retain the job after getting a challenge from Vladimir Ducasse this offseason. Given the timing of the announcment, it doesn’t seem like Ducasse put up much of a fight. That might not be all there was to the decision the Jets were making, however.
Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Slauson recently agreed to take a pay cut for the 2012 season. He was due to make $1.308 million this season, but will now earn $1.05 million in fully guaranteed salary. Slauson, a 2010 sixth-round pick, was originally slated to make $565,000 this season but he earned escalators in his rookie year that pushed things up to a more robust number.
It’s not too much of a jump to see the relationship between the two things. Players don’t tend to take pay cuts unless they run the risk of losing their roster spots, so the loss of $258,000 likely bought Slauson another year on the Jets roster. With his presence assured, the Jets could halt a competition that always seemed like a stretch based on the way Ducasse played when forced into action last season.