The Jets have a new edge rusher for Robert Saleh’s defensive line.
Former Texans defensive end Jacob Martin will sign a three-year deal with the Jets that is worth up to $16.5 million, a league source said. He has 13.5 sacks in four seasons.
Martin, 26, is not a splashy name with huge sack numbers, but he is quick and explosive off the ball — and he’s coming off his best season.
The 6-2, 242-pound Martin had four sacks last season, including one of Zach Wilson. He added five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a safety. Martin also had a career-high 38 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.
A sixth-round pick of Seattle in 2018, Martin became a full-time starter last season after the Texans switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. The Jets use a 4-3 scheme under Saleh, so Martin should fit well and could be unleashed more than he was in Houston.
Saleh’s defense is predicated on his front four hunting and disrupting the quarterback. The Jets believe Martin is a player on the rise.
He will be a part of the defensive end rotation that also includes Carl Lawson, who is returning from an Achilles injury, John-Franklin Myers and Bryce Huff. The Jets think Martin’s production will go up, especially with the attention Lawson and Quinnen Williams will receive.
The Jets showed interest in dominant pass rusher Chandler Jones, but the price ended up being too high. The Raiders are signing Jones to a three-year deal worth more than $50 million.
General manager Joe Douglas is expected to add another edge rusher in the draft. The Jets have the No. 4 and No. 10 picks. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Travon Walker and Jermaine Johnson are possibilities.
The Jets have addressed many needs in free agency thus far. They officially signed right guard Laken Tomlinson, tight end C.J. Uzomah, cornerback D.J. Reed and safety Jordan Whitehead on Thursday. The Jets also struck a deal with ex-Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin.
They still need to give Wilson more weapons. The Jets likely will add a receiver in free agency and use at least one of their early-round picks on one.