The Jets finally have linebacker C.J. Mosley back with the team following his opt-out of the 2020 season.
C.J. Mosley has returned to Florham Park.
The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker and 2019 free-agent acquisition, who signed a lucrative deal that offseason, is back with the Jets following a 2020 season in which he opted out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On top of that, Mosley played in just two games during the 2019 campaign, missing much time due to a groin injury.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen the talented linebacker in action. Motivation, however, is certainly present within the veteran in the midst of the OTA period.
“Just excited to be on the field, excited to get some sunlight while I’m running around, excited to be in the locker room making new friends with my teammates, building relationships with the coaches,” Mosley told the media Thursday. “I’m just happy to be here.”
Despite having played in just two games in as many seasons since signing with the Jets, his $85 million contract is still an $85 million contract. It’s still a deal Mosley will attempt to live up to, but even with that eye-popping financial figure, he isn’t stressing out.
“I don’t feel too much pressure,” he said. “I’m a football player, that’s what I’ve done my whole life. I’m going to steal the Stephen Curry quote — ‘I don’t have a lot to prove, I have a lot to accomplish.’ That’s how I feel coming into this season. I’m not thinking that I need to do this, be this, or do that. I just got to do my job, the same thing I’ve been doing my whole career.”
This year will be a tad bit different for Mosley; a new coaching staff is in place. Luckily for the man himself, that staff includes a defensive-minded head coach in Robert Saleh, who was previously the coordinator for that side of the ball over in San Francisco.
“The first day here, [Saleh] just brought the energy, and that’s what you want from a head coach,” C.J. said. “The first day in, I spoke to him for a little while, things with COVID were still a little shaky so we just had a quick chat. But just being around him this whole time, especially through this first week, he’s been very formative with the defense — the technique we play is coached a little different. He’s been all ears and he’s been very formative when I’ve talked to him.”
Mosley is seemingly intrigued by the opportunity to work with Saleh.
On the head coach’s end, the feeling is mutual.
“[Mosley] looks good. He’s a very powerful mover, obviously we can’t see tackling but you can see a lot of power in his movement, he eats up a lot of ground,” the first-year head coach mentioned to the media Thursday. “He’s fluid, he’s smart, he’s savvy, he’s a tremendous gentleman, and I’m just really excited to get a chance to work with him.”
“For C.J., anytime you got a person who’s played a lot of football at a very high level and is still young like he is and the leadership that he provides, it’s always a benefit…you add in the character of the individual, his work ethic, his communication skills…he’s been fantastic,” Saleh added.
Mosley is set to work alongside 2021 free-agent pickup Jarrad Davis within what should be an improved Jets defense.
New York made a number of moves to enhance the talent level as well as the depth on that side of the ball, signing defensive end Carl Lawson to a three-year deal and selecting six defensive players through Rounds 5 and 6 of this year’s draft.
The unit should be able to produce and take pressure off a young Jets offense — expect Mosley to be a significant piece of that development.