Brandon Copeland
AP Photo

The New York Jets are bringing back familiar faces in linebacker Brandon Copeland and tight end Neal Sterling.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The New York Jets have welcomed back two of their own, confirming the re-signing of two of their free agents earlier this week. Linebacker Brandon Copeland is back with the squad, as is tight end Neal Sterling.

Copeland, 27, will partake in his second year with the Jets. Entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Penn, Copeland has built a sustainable NFL career. After training camp and practice squad stints in Baltimore and Tennessee, Copeland made a name for himself at the 2015 NFL Veterans Combine. He became one of two players who earned a contract at the event, along Ifeanyi Momah (formerly of Arizona).

Joining the Detroit Lions, Copeland partook in two seasons before a torn pectoral kept him out of the entirety of the 2017 season.

He signed a one-year, $1.2 million with the Jets last spring, and responded with a career-best season. He talied 35 tackles and five sacks. His 2018 highlight came in an October loss to Minnesota, where he earned three tackles, two for a loss, and one sack.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Copeland’s new deal is another one-year contract, this one worth $1.5 million. That includes a $250,000 signing bonus.

Sterling is returning as well and he’ll remain in the confines of New Jersey. A Belmar native, Sterling spent four years as a receiver at Monmouth University. He was a seventh-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015 and joined the Jets two seasons later.

Over two seasons with the Jets thus far, Sterling has racked up 129 yards on 12 receptions. His 2018 season was cut short by a concussion, suffered in a Week 8 loss in Chicago. Sterling rejoins Chris Herndon, Eric Tomlinson, and Jordan Leggett, as well as newcomer Daniel Brown.

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