Jets release Mark Brunell

Updated: July 30, 2011, 3:52 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

In a surprising move, the New York Jets released No. 2 quarterback Mark Brunell, leaving no experienced backups behind starter Mark Sanchez.

Brunell was due to make $1.25 million this season, and there's a strong possibility of re-signing him at a lower salary. The Jets, preparing for the possible arrival of free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, made the move to clear cap space.

Brunell wasn't the only quarterback on the way out of Jets camp. New York also released backup Kevin O'Connell, who is coming off shoulder surgery.

If they don't re-sign Brunell, the Jets would have to shop for an experienced backup. Because of the lockout, it would be difficult to break in a new quarterback and there aren't many options left on the roster.

Earlier this week, the Jets lost free agent Kellen Clemens to the Washington Redskins. After that, the depth chart consists of rookie seventh-round pick Greg McElroy and free agent Drew Willy.

McElroy agreed to terms on a four-year deal Friday, according to a league source.

Brunell, who turns 41 in September, appeared in only two games last season, but he was a mentor to Sanchez, who has talked glowingly of Brunell's impact and steadying influence.

Brunell, a three-time Pro Bowler in 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and Jets, has thrown for 32,045 yards and 184 touchdowns in his career.

The Jets also waived cornerback Will Billingsley and guard Marlon Davis.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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