G Alan Faneca has been released by the New York Jets. He will be owed $5.25 million. He played two of his 12 seasons with the Jets. During his 12 seasons, he went to nine pro bowls. In addition, he was named to the All-Pro 1st team six times.
Another former pro bowler to be released (due to his team drafting someone to replace him) is DT John Henderson. Henderson played all of his eight NFL seasons with the Jaguars. Two of those seasons earned Henderson a trip to the pro bowl.
Of course, these players aren’t retiring, at least not yet, but this is a significant move for both teams. In both cases, these players were anchors of their respective lines, men who had been to pro bowls, men to whom younger players could look up to.
However, the NFL is a business.
The Jaguars turned many heads by drafting DT Tyson Alualu out of Cal at #10, with DL like Derrick Morgan, Dan Williams and Jason Pierre-Paul still on the board. They hope Alualu can be their new “John Henderson” on the defensive line. To further prove their ambition to revamp the middle of their defensive line, with their second pick, the Jags selected DT D’Anthony Smith out of Louisiana Tech.
Likewise, the Jets felt they wanted to get younger at the guard position. So, with their 2nd round pick, the Jets chose Vladimir Ducasse, out of UMass.
The Jets releasing Faneca is more puzzling to me than the Jaguars releasing Henderson. The Jets are probably the favorite (on paper) to go to the Super Bowl. Why release your most experienced offensive lineman with only a second-year quarterback? Considering how Ducasse isn’t NFL ready and how the Jets owe Faneca $5.25 million, they must really have wanted him gone? But why? The Jets have done so well with their personnel moves this off-season. This move may be the one that hurts them come playoff time.
Thanks for reading.