The Jets are bringing back two players from Gregg Williams’ defense.
Inside linebacker Neville Hewitt is re-signing with the Jets on a one-year, $2 million contract. Cornerback Arthur Maulet also is returning on a one-year deal.
The moves are important, low-cost moves as general manager Joe Douglas pieces together the defense.
Hewitt played well last year for Williams, the Jets’ defensive coordinator. Hewitt became a starter after the Jets lost Avery Williamson in the preseason to a torn ACL. Hewitt then took over the defensive play-calling in Week 2 after middle linebacker C.J. Mosley suffered a groin injury.
Hewitt, 26, appeared in 12 games, all starts, and his 75 tackles were tied for second on the Jets. He also had three sacks and two interceptions.
The Jets need depth and insurance at inside linebacker with Mosley and Williamson both returning from season-ending injuries. Williamson is a candidate to be waived, which would free $6.5 million under the cap. If he is, the Jets could try to bring back Williamson for less money.
Cornerback is another position that needs depth, and Maulet is the second one that Douglas has brought back this week. The Jets also reached a deal on a one-year, $5 million contract with slot corner Brian Poole on Wednesday. The released cornerback Trumaine Johnson the same day.
Maulet, 26, played 12 games with the Jets last season, starting six of them. He finished with 38 tackles and one interception. Maulet also scored a special teams touchdown.
As of now, Darryl Roberts, Poole, Maulet, Bless Austin and Nate Hairston are under contract. Roberts, however, is a candidate to be cut. Roberts’ cap number for 2020 is $6 million, with $2 million becoming guaranteed if he’s on the roster on the fifth day of the league year, which is Sunday.