A few quick thoughts:
1. Even though Bart Scott's agent insisted Monday he hasn't received permission from the Jets to seek a trade, it sure seems like the two sides are heading to divorce court. The agent, Harold Lewis, said Scott was frustrated last season by his diminished role. It doesn't sound like they're talking reconciliation. Teams usually don't bend over backward to appease aging linebackers with bloated contracts.
2. Even with a $4.2 million guaranteed salary for 2012 (not Mike Tannenbaum's finest renegotiation), I still can't envision Scott returning to the Jets. His play has slipped and the Jets, trying to rebuild locker-room harmony after last season's debacle, can't afford any potential headaches. They will try their hardest to trade him, hoping to salvage the situation by getting a late-round conditional pick.
3. Scott's position -- weak-inside linebacker -- is becoming obsolete. With the proliferation of spread offenses, inside 'backers are being replaced by nickel corners. Late in the season, I asked Scott about his diminished playing time and he said, "It's an adjustment. Football is changing. They're going with more three and four wides, and you want to get another cover guy out there."
4. Scott, 31, slowed down last season and was exposed in pass coverage. The coaches scaled back his role, pulling him on passing downs. He appeared in only 677 snaps after topping the 1,000 mark in each of his first two seasons with the Jets, according to the website Pro Football Focus. Against the run, he's still a solid in-the-box player, but a liability in space.
5. How does this play out? Here are the possibilities: Scott will either a.) Remain with the Jets under his current contract, b.) Take a pay cut to stay in a limited role, c.) Re-work his contract to facilitate a trade, d.) Get cut and walk away with $4.2 million. My money is on d.
6. Until a resolution is reached, I wouldn't be surprised if it gets ugly, Scott trying to shoot his way out of town and the Jets playing hardball. Conceivably, they could wait until July before letting him go, making it harder to find a new team -- the team's only leverage. But I find it hard to believe that Rex Ryan, who is close with Scott, would let it get that far.
7. It seems like Scott is trying to pull a Jerricho Cotchery. A year ago, Cotchery was frustrated with his role on offense and let his feelings be known right around the time of the scouting combine. For five months, he begged the Jets to trade or release him, and they finally did at the start of training camp. But be careful what you wish for, Bart, as Cotchery ended up signing a minimum contract and playing sparingly.
8. What about a trade? Seems highly unlikely ... unless he agrees to restructure his contract to make it more palatable for a new team. Why would Scott do that? After seeing what happened to Cotchery, he might be willing to leave some money on the table to ensure a soft landing in a hand-picked destination -- i.e. the Giants or the Ravens, his former team.
9. Tannenbaum hates to eat guaranteed money, whether it's a player contract or a coach's contract, but he has little choice here. It wouldn't be unprecedented. In 2010, the Jets did it with LG Alan Faneca, swallowing $5.25 million -- which probably didn't make owner Woody Johnson too happy.