According to Aaron Wilson of NationalFootballPost.com, the New York Jets have decided to release All-Pro guard Alan Faneca after unsuccessfully attempting to him for a pick in the first three rounds.
The Jets ran into trouble trading Faneca because his age and salary don’t mesh anymore. Faneca will be 34 during the 2010 season, but is due to make $7.5 million. That’s not unreasonable for a player of Faneca’s stature, but $5.25 million of that is guaranteed, and that’s where teams are running into issues.
It could also be that the Jets’ asking price was too high. Faneca is a great player, there’s no doubt about that, but there just aren’t too many 34-year old players worth a second or third-round pick.
Rex Ryan still claims that Faneca was never on the trade block, so it’s certainly possible that he’s not released and all these reports have missed the mark, but if he is released, it won’t take long for him to find a new home.
Offensive linemen are coming at a premium over the last few seasons, and Faneca is consistently one of the best. He’s not likely to receive the $7.5 million he’s scheduled to make this season, but a 4-year, $20 million deal with a lot of escalators isn’t out of the question — especially for a team in need of line help like his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, or Detroit Lions.
There are several teams who could use a guy like Faneca, so don’t expect him to be a free agent for very long.