Free agent offensive lineman and long-time Jet Matt Slauson has officially signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears. The Jets did not a concerted effort to sign the 27-year old offensive guard this offseason.
The former University of Nebraska standout was selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft and has appeared in 51 career games during his four year stint with the Green and White.
Slauson has been starting on Gang Green's offensive line the past three seasons, but last year he found himself in a platoon role with Vladimir Ducassee. Slauson will be remembered most during his time in New York for his cut block on Houston Texans' Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Cushing, who suffered a torn ACL and missed the remainder of the season. Slauson was fined $10,000 for his peel back block, which has been ruled illegal under new NFL rules.
The four-year veteran will most likely start at one of the guard positions in the Windy City. The Bears lost Lance Louie, who signed with the Miami Dolphins earlier in the week. The Bears also signed left tackle Jermon Bushrod this offseason to help revamp their offensive line.
Now the Jets have another void to fill. Slauson will most likely be replaced by Ducassee, but the organization still has a chance to look towards free agency or the 2013 draft during April.
The Jets have let another starter slip away to free agency. Since free agency has started the Jets have lost key contributors on both sides of the ball from last year's squad. This is all a part of new general manager John Idzik's plan to get the franchises salary cap in order.
Gang Green has one player remaining on the roster from the 2009 draft which helped pave way to the start of consecutive AFC Championship game appearances. Mark Sanchez is the lone roster holdover and perhaps been the most controversial name in New York sports.
The Jets will have a fair share of draft picks to build on this April as they attempt to strengthen the squad plug several gaping holes on the depth chart.