The New York Jets have reached an agreement with outside linebacker Antwan Barnes, who signed a three-year $4 million contract with the team today. It is yet another thrifty, cap-conscious signing for the cash-strapped Jets team, who after releasing some high profile, high cost players earlier in the offseason, have begun to plug holes with players such as Barnes.
A former San Diego Charger, Philadelphia Eagle, and Baltimore Raven, Barnes is a six-year veteran and longtime backup. His most extensive playing time came in 2011, where he registered eleven sacks in 16 games, making five starts. That is the only season in which he has made a single start, however.
In limited work, Barnes has proven himself to be a productive pass rusher, so perhaps it is time for him to move into a starting role with a new team. According to Pro Football Focus, Barnes registered 45 combined sacks, hits, and hurries on the quarterback on 265 pass rushing attempts, making an impact on an impressive 17% of plays on passing downs.
The signing of Barnes will help make up for the loss of Calvin Pace, who was cut, as well as Bryan Thomas, who is a free agent unlikely to be re-signed by the team as the Jets continue to move on and rebuild. The rebuilding process is a clear and evident pattern in their few signings so far this offseason.
Earlier, the Jets signed veteran quarterback David Garrard, who is expected to compete with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. To take over one of the guard spots, the team signed former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Willie Colon, to a one-year contract. He is a player with a high level of talent who has something to prove after landing on injured reserve in three straight seasons.
In addition, the Jets found cheaper, yet comparable alternatives for the departed Shonn Greene and Sione Pouha, signing Mike Goodson and Antonio Garay to take their places. This is a good start to the offseason for a Jets team with a new general manager that is clearly in the rebuilding mode.
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