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Old 02-21-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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Default Brandon Moore cut by Jets


New York Jets to release guard Brandon Moore, let Chris Baker go
by Dave Hutchinson/The Star-Ledger
Saturday February 21, 2009, 12:01 AM

William Perlman/The Star-Ledger
The Jets proposed cutting Brandon Moore's salary.The Jets continued their salary purge Friday, announcing the release of veteran tight end Chris Baker.

Friday night the team also informed the agent for Brandon Moore that they plan to release the veteran right guard, according to a person familiar with the Jets' thinking. That person requested anonymity because he's not authorized to speak for the Jets or Moore.

The two moves will create approximately $9 million in salary cap space for the Jets, meaning they're now roughly $27 million under the projected 2009 salary cap of $124 million with the start of free agency arriving on Friday.

On Thursday, the team cut linebackers David Bowens and Brad Kassell.

But the decision to release Moore was a surprise.

During a meeting with Moore's agent, the Jets proposed cutting Moore's salary, although he is coming off the best year of his career. He was due a $7 million roster bonus on March 5, but was believed to be open to reworking his deal. With their newfound cap space, the Jets are expected to make a strong bid for Ravens linebackers Ray Lewis or Bart Scott and Ravens safety Jim Leonard. All played for new Jets coach Rex Ryan in Baltimore.

The Jets are expected to get one and possibly two of the three. Scott, 28, is six years younger than Lewis and is the likely target. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has made it clear the team plans to do everything it can to keep Lewis, and the Ravens defense can't afford the loss of both Lewis and Scott.

Also, the Jets are looking to sign running back Leon Washington and center Nick Mangold, both Pro Bowlers, to long-term deals.

The moves to jettison Baker and Moore are a bit surprising because Ryan has vowed to be a physical, running team and the pair are perhaps the Jets best two run-blockers.

Rookie tight end Dustin Keller is a notorious non-blocker and the Jets don't have a clear-cut replacement for Moore, a five-year starter.

Baker, a seven-year veteran, spent his entire career with the Jets. In September, he signed a three-year extension that guaranteed him $9 million from 2009 to 2011 if he was still on the roster on March 5.

According to teammates, Baker, who didn't return several calls Friday, saw the writing on the wall as he was phased out of the offense last season. He caught just 21 passes for 194 yards after coming off a career year in 2007 when he caught 41 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns.

A six-year veteran, Moore helped pave the way for running back Thomas Jones' AFC-leading 1,312 yards and career-high and franchise-record 13 rushing touchdowns. He also spent his entire career with the Jets. Moore, 28, is expected to be one of the top guards on the free-agent market and should cash in big. A former defensive tackle, he was a five-year starter.

Let Kemo walk and get this guy!
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