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Sunday, September 5, 2010
Jets release T-Rich, the unkindest cut

By Rich Cimini

This one stinks on many levels.

On last week's episode of "Hard Knocks," we see Rex Ryan and some of his coaches are bemoaning the lack of leadership, especially on offense. So, on Sunday afternoon, they cut the most respected leader on the offense -- FB Tony Richardson.

There's a chance they could re-sign Richardson after Week 1, according to a league source, when his $855,000 base salary wouldn't be guaranteed for the season. Are they that strapped for cash that they would take $50,300 (one game check) out of the pocket of one of the league's classiest players? What does it say about their chances of signing Darrelle Revis?

This sends a bad vibe throughout the locker room. In the last six months, the Jets have cut or traded several popular and productive players because of money-related issues: RB Thomas Jones, LG Alan Faneca, RB Leon Washington and PK Jay Feely. Just last week, they cut WR Laveranues Coles because they didn't want to guarantee his $855,000 salary. What is Woody Johnson doing with all that PSL money? And remember, this is an uncapped year.

The Richardson decision also illustrates a possible clash between GM Mike Tannenbaum and Ryan. In last week's "Hard Knocks," Tannenbaum, watching the bottom line, seems inclined to cut Richardson. But Ryan defends the ageless fullback, saying they need two fullbacks (Richardson and rookie John Conner) to implement his "Ground-and-Pound" philosophy.

The Jets haven't uttered a peep on Richardson; as of 7:25 p.m., they still hadn't announced the move. No doubt, they will try to spin it as a temporary move, but Richardson deserved better. Look, we know it's a cold business. The Jets keep reminding us of that.