Sione Pouha to Be Released By New York Jets

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The roster shakeup continues for the New York Jets. According to various reports, New York plans on parting ways with the defensive tackle Sione Pouha prior to the official start of free agency. This move will create for the Jets $ 3.8 million in cap space. If left on the roster Thursday, he would have counted $6.2 against the salary cap.

Pouha was a third-round draft pick by the Jets in 2005 out of Utah. After being used sparingly in his first two seasons, Pouha appeared in all 16 games from 2007-2011. He became a major part of the Jets’ defense using his large body to stuff the run.  This was especially true under Rex Ryan as Pouha was the starting nose tackle. The veteran was also seen as a leader in the locker room. Unfortunately for Pouha, injuries plagued him as was the case for many key players last year. His 29 tackles were the fewest since 2008.

There has already been a tremendous overhaul on defense considering the departures of Calvin Pace, Eric Smith and Bart Scott. It becomes more apparent with each passing day that a rebuilding effort is underway. Those seasons that led to consecutive AFC Championship Games now feel like a decade ago. The core of this era is now in danger of being completely removed. Saving money and creating flexibility are important. However, John Idzik and the entire organization need to find players who will make an impact on and off the field.

Kendrick Ellis looks like he could break out as the starting defensive tackle. The only issue is that despite his age, Pouha was a popular player among fans and his peers. Reality is the Jets don’t have a lot of room to further destroy team morale.

 


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