FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Aaron Maybin knows what you're thinking.
He's well aware that his name is mentioned in the same breath as the dreaded "B" word, a tag that still hovers over former Jets like Dewayne Robertson, Blair Thomas and Vernon Gholston. But he doesn't care.
After two disappointing seasons in Buffalo, Maybin is looking for a clean slate and a fresh start. He's looking to rewrite his own narrative, a story that no longer entails the title "bust," and instead ends with a Super Bowl. Coaxed by Rex Ryan, the linebacker came to the Jets in search of a new identity and the team didn't waste time putting him on the practice field Wednesday afternoon -- even before he cracked open the playbook.
"He wanted to put it out there from the beginning that nothing was going to be given to me and I made it known to him that I didn't want anything given," Maybin said of Ryan after passing his physical Wednesday morning and signing a one-year deal with the Jets. "I wanted to come here and wear my hard hat to work every day and earn every piece of playing time and everything that I get here from this organization.
The Bills waived their former 2009 first-round pick Monday after two forgettable seasons in which he recorded 24 tackles (15 solo) and no sacks. Maybin, 23, wouldn't take the bait when asked if his former team gave him a fair shot, but the former Penn State star admitted he has a chip on his shoulder. "I'm not going to lie and say that wasn't an added bonus," he said of facing the Bills twice during the regular season. "Obviously that wasn't the biggest factor, but that is a nice little added piece to the puzzle."
Maybin, who was outweighed as much as 100 pounds by offensive tackles, never quite found his true position with the Bills and subsequently underperformed. But, whether standing up or squatting down with his hands in the dirt, he's excited to show he fits in Ryan's defense.
"I'm an athlete," said Maybin, who is down to 240 pounds because ofa recent illness, but is hoping to get up to 255 or 256. "Just put me on the field and let me go."
The Jets appear willing to give him another shot. And Maybin's thankful for the second chance.
"Whenever you hear somebody talk about the Jets organization, so many great things come to mind," he said. "They talk about family, they talk about commitment, they talk about loyalty, they talk about so many things that, as a player, that's what you look for in an organization."