- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Another day, another starter departing the Jets in free agency.
Starting guard Matt Slauson signed with the Bears on Friday, marking the sixth starter the Jets have lost in free agency. Slauson joins Dustin Keller (Miami), Shonn Greene (Tennessee), LaRon Landry (Indianapolis), Yeremiah Bell (Arizona) and Mike DeVito (Kansas City) as starters that have departed the Jets.
"We are excited that Matt will be a Bear," Bears GM Phil Emery said in a statement. "He brings physical play and smarts to the offensive guard position and to the offensive line as an overall unit. His size, strength and power will allow him to challenge for either of the starting guard positions."
Slauson, 27, has been an important part of the Jets offensive line the past few years. The team selected him in the sixth round of the 2009 draft and he started 48 of 51 games with the team, including every game over the past three years. During his tenure with the Jets, Gang Green had one of the best offensive lines in football and made it to a pair of AFC title games.
Prior to last season Slauson took a pay cut, and during the season he sometimes found himself in a rotation with former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse, who he beat out for the starting position during training camp. Slauson also was involved in one of the more controversial plays of the year, as his cut block on Houston's Brian Cushing resulted in Cushing tearing his ACL.
With Slauson gone, and fellow guard Brandon Moore a free agent as well, the Jets are thin on their offensive line. Currently, their starting guards would be Ducasse, who has had an underwhelming career to this point, and the recently-acquired Willie Colon. That's part of the reason why the team recently hosted free agent guard Jake Scott on Thursday, although Scott didn't leave with a deal.