With the Le’Veon Bell hoopla neutralized, for the time being, the New York Jets took care of some of their own free agents.
The New York Jets have made some big splashes in the NFL’s free agency period. With some of the hype subsiding, they handled a few of their own players.
The team has confirmed the returns of cornerback Darryl Roberts, defensive lineman Steve McLendon, and offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison. Conversely, running back Isaiah Crowell has been released.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Roberts will be brought back on a three-year, $18 million deal. After two seasons as a reserve defender, Roberts was forced to take on a larger role last season after injuries struck the secondary. He played in all 16 games, including 10 starts, and tallied a career-best 48 tackles. Added to that tally was seven pass deflections, as well as one interception in the Jets’ December win in Buffalo.
Talking with Olivia Landis and Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com, Roberts said the hire of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams played a big factor in his return. He was also pleased the team retained secondary coach Dennard Wilson.
“Gregg Williams is a mastermind, and I just love the Jets so I thought it would be a good decision to come back,” Roberts said. “And I love (Wilson) Great coach, coaches hard, and he’s smart, too. He came up under Gregg, so I think those two together are going to have us pretty right in the back end.”
Also retained is the veteran McLendon, who recently wrapped up his third season with the Jets after seven seasons in Pittsburgh. In his New York career, he has tallied 108 tackles, including five sacks. According to Mehta, the contract is for one year and has a base value of $2.5 million, with the potential to max out at $3.5 million.
Like Roberts, Harrison took on a bigger role when injuries struck his unit. He would appear in all 16 games, starting the final eight at center. Harrison will enter his third year with the team, having spent three previous years with the Indianapolis Colts.
On the other hand, the Jets bid farewell to Crowell after a single season. The former Cleveland Brown was signed to a three-year, $12 million deal last March and put up 685 yards and six touchdowns. His most notable New York moment came in an October win over Denver, where he picked up a franchise-record 219 rushing yards.
The release will save the Jets $3 million in cap space. In addition to the newly signed Le’Veon Bell, the Jets’ current rushing crop now features Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon.