Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins tested free agency, but he’s headed back to the Jets.
That didn’t appear likely last week; there were reports that Jenkins might be too expensive for the Jets to retain. But they reached an agreement on a new contract, according to a league source, and the Jets’ 2019 sack leader reportedly will sign a one-year, $5 million deal.
General manager Joe Douglas is bringing back another key player from last year’s defense, too. Well-traveled linebacker James Burgess, who has been cut eight times in his NFL career, is returning to the Jets on a one-year deal, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. Burgess led the Jets in tackles last year.
Getting Jenkins back is big for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and at that price, it’s great value for the Jets. Jenkins has improved each year since the Jets drafted him in the third round in 2016. He’s been their best pass rusher the past two seasons with 15 sacks. Jenkins had a career-high eight sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games last year.
The Jets likely are still in the market for an edge rusher.
Burgess, 26, was with Williams in Cleveland before the Jets signed him last year. He played in 10 games for the Jets — all starts — and led an injury-ravaged defense with 80 tackles. He also had one interception, a forced fumble and five passes defensed.
Douglas has brought back four players from last year’s defense and five players overall. Last week, he reached deals with slot cornerback Brian Poole, cornerback Arthur Maulet and left guard Alex Lewis.
The Jets would like to bring back receiver Robby Anderson, but it depends on the price. Douglas has been consistent in his approach in free agency. To maintain flexibility, he’s not overspending on players.
Like Jenkins, the market hasn’t really developed for Anderson as anticipated. It’s possible that Douglas will reach a team-friendly deal with Anderson as well.
Jets donate $1 million
The Jets and the Johnson family have made a $1 million joint donation to United Way agencies in an effort to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The contributions will go to the United Way of Long Island’s United Together: A Response Fund for COVID-19, the United Way of New York City’s COVID-19 Community Fund and United Way of Northern New Jersey’s ALICE Recovery Fund.
“The United Way continues to improve lives around the world and we need community-based organizations more than ever at this moment,” Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. “Everyone has been impacted by this invisible enemy and the United Way is meeting it head-on at home, helping those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak.”
Williams arraignment on hold
Nose tackle Quinnen Williams was set to be arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a weapon on Wednesday in Queens, but his lawyer, Alex Spiro, said it’s been delayed because of the coronavirus restrictions. Williams was arrested March 6 for allegedly carrying a gun while attempting to board a flight at LaGuardia Airport.