The Jets have signed defensive end Ronald Blair to a contract. The veteran was previously with Robert Saleh out in San Francisco.
Ronald Blair is headed to Florham Park and will once again work with former 49ers defensive coordinator and current Jets head coach Robert Saleh. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news Tuesday morning.
Jets signed former 49ers’ DE Ronald Blair, per source. Blair is reunited in NY with Jets’ HC Robert Saleh.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 1, 2021
“If you like winning, you like Ronnie Blair” — Saleh in 2019.
Blair was a 2016 5th-round pick whose versatility & smarts carved him a spot in 49ers D-line until 2019 ACL which kept him out 2020 https://t.co/ZbArwacFfN
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) June 1, 2021
Blair commenced his career with the 49ers when San Fran selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of Appalachian State. He played out his four-year rookie contract prior to his most recent one-year deal with the Niners for last season. However, he didn’t play a single game in 2020 following a hiccup in his ACL tear rehab.
Blair suffered the injury in the middle of the 2019 season.
The 28-year-old’s most productive campaign came in 2018 when he recorded 36 combined tackles (24 solo), 10 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hits, and 5.5 sacks (all career-highs).
Blair will likely be a reserve edge rusher in Saleh and coordinator Jeff Ulbrich’s 4-3 defensive scheme, at least initially. While competition could occur at one of the two defensive end spots, the other will most certainly be occupied by free-agent acquisition Carl Lawson, who the Jets signed to a three-year deal this offseason.
Depth is crucial though — Blair is expected to provide that as the newest member of the organization if he does eventually make the final roster past the training camp and preseason periods.
Given his experience with Saleh and familiarity with his defensive tendencies, Blair should be a reliable asset barring a preseason cut.