By Vincent Frank
on Wednesday, February 20th
A ton of veteran NFL players were released on Tuesday as teams fully started transitioning to the 2013 offseason. Most of these moves were to be expected and included marginal players, but let's take a look here.
New York Jets Release Three Former Starters
Calvin Pace, Bart Scott and Eric Smith started 46 games for the Jets back in 2011 and have all been important cogs to what was one of the best defenses in the NFL. As the Jets grew older on that side of the ball, these three veterans all lost a step. They were set to count $31 million against the cap for a team that was $20 million over the threshold. Needless to say, these moves were expected.
Pace and Scott can surely be helps to teams utilizing a 3-4 scheme. While they are nowhere near the players we saw three years ago, both could come in and be complementary starters on an already solid defense. If not, they could become important backups. Meanwhile, Smith is probably nothing more than a depth guy at this point. He would, however, be an upgrade for a myriad of teams as a nickel safety. Jason Smith, the former No. 2 overall pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2011, was also sent packing. The former top prospect at offensive tackle has quickly become one of the biggest busts in the recent history of the league.
Kansas City Chiefs Release Steve Breaston and Kevin Boss
Breaston recorded nearly 800 yards for Kansas City in 2011 before struggling with injuries and production this past season. He caught seven passes in 10 games (four starts) and was set to earn $4 million in '13. The veteran will find a decent market is he can prove he is healthy. After all, there isn't really a shortage of need for slot receivers in the NFL.
Boss, meanwhile, may be in a different boat. After suffering multiple concussions over the last couple seasons, the veteran tight end's future if questionable at best.
New Orleans Saints Release Former Third-Round Pick
In a rather surprising move, the Saints have parted ways with 2011 third-round pick Johnny Patrick. The cornerback has struggled to make an impact in each of his first two NFL seasons, but considering the Saints' lack of depth and talent in the secondary, this has to be considered more of a knock on Patrick's ability to play in the NFL than anything else. New Orleans also parted ways with backup tight end David Thomas, who did record four touchdowns last season. the blocking tight end should find some interest on the market.