Slauson takes pay cut, wins job

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Now it all makes sense: The left-guard competition between Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse was a complete farce.

The Jets' objective was to put presssure on Slauson because, as we now know, they wanted him to take a pay cut. And they succeeded. According to NFLPA records, Slauson took a $258,000 pay cut last week. In exchange, he received a guaranteed roster spot.

SlausonSlausonSlauson was supposed to make $1.31 million, but his total compensation for 2012 will now be $1.05 million -- a $435,000 signing bonus, plus a guaranteed $615,000 base salary.

On Wednesday, Rex Ryan declared the left-guard competition over, saying Slauson is his guy. Ending a competition before the first game? That indicates it never was a competition; it was to gain leverage in a negotiation.

Explaining his decision, Ryan made sure to mention that Ducasse "will play" at left guard during the season. That ain't happening unless Slauson gets hurt. The Jets are trying to give the impression that Ducasse still has value to them. Why? There's already scuttlebutt in the league that they could try to trade him, trying to recoup something -- anything -- for the second-round pick they wasted. Good luck.

The Star-Ledger of Newark first reported the pay cut.