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Jets say so long to Pro Bowl LG Alan Faneca

The Jets have officially announced the release of veteran Pro Bowl left guard Alan Faneca, paving the way for him to continue his NFL career elsewhere. “He gave us two incredible years, but along with Woody (Johnson), Rex and I, our job is to make the hard decision, not necessarily the easy one,” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. “With Alan, we just felt it was time to move on.”

Faneca, who played 10 years in Pittsburgh before signing with New York in 2008, will be replaced by second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse or Matt Slauson, last year’s sixth-round selection. “The best player will play there,” Tannenbaum said.

The team released the nine-time Pro Bowl selection even though he’s owed $5.2 million in guaranteed salary this year. Faneca’s age—he’s 33—and slip in production were also likely factors in him being cut. “We feel good about Matt Slauson and we feel good about Vladimir stepping in and competing for that job,” coach Rex Ryan said. “We never would’ve let Alan go if we didn’t think that one or both of those guys could do the job.”

Three years ago Faneca signed a five-year, $40 million contract, with $21 million in guarantees, which made him then the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Now he’s out there for any team that wants him.

“Alan’s definitely going to play in this league again,” Ryan said. “I have no idea where, but by releasing him now, (it) gives Alan an opportunity to go, quite honestly, where he wants to go. We’re not looking to trade him and send him to a place where he doesn’t want to play. We gave him the respect that he’s due and this allows him to go where he wants to go.”

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