Last year, Rex Ryan repeatedly said the Jets had the best offensive line in football. They even proved that was the case on the field, leading the league in rushing with a potent ground game.
But now they're tinkering with it.
The Jets have officially released LG Alan Faneca, completing a move that was rumored throughout the week. Faneca was due $7.5 million in 2010 of which $5.2 was guaranteed.
So even though the Jets knew they'd be on the hook for that amount, they still elected to get rid of the perennial Pro Bowler in part because of his age and declining production.
Faneca, 33, played the last two seasons with the Jets after spending the first 10 years of his career with the Steelers. He was a solid run blocker, but his pass protection left a lot to be desired. He surrendered a whopping 16 QB pressures, six sacks and three QB hits, according to profootballfocus.com.
"He did a lot of great things," GM Mike Tannenbaum said. "We just felt, as Rex said, that when we looked at it carefully for us, what was in the best interest of the Jets and in terms of where we want to go. Again, the easy decision would have been, 'Let's try to get through another year.' But that was not the correct decision in my mind."
He added: "We are trying to win a Super Bowl."
Ryan said: "You're going to stay the same, get better or get worse. We're getting better. That's why we made the move."
With Faneca shown the door, second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse and last year's sixth-rounder Matt Slauson are expected to battle it out for the starting LG gig.
"I do what it takes to compete," Ducasse said. "I talked to the coaches and the GM and they brought me here to compete for a spot. We’ll see how it goes. I’m a guy that they can trust and rely on. Pretty much all I’m thinking about now is competing."