Jets sign DE Babin; Colon, Barnes on active/PUP
Jul. 23, 2014
CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Rex Ryan and the New York Jets are giving Jason Babin a chance to prove he can still get to the quarterback.
The Jets and the free-agent defensive end agreed to terms on a two-year deal Wednesday before the team reported for training camp. Babin had a team-leading 7 1/2 sacks last season for Jacksonville, and was released in the offseason.
"You can't have enough pass rushers," Ryan said. "The thing about Jason is the way he plays, his style of play. As a coach, you shouldn't have to teach effort. There are some guys who are exceptional, and Jason is one of them. He is a relentless guy."
The 34-year-old Babin has 62 1/2 career sacks in 10 NFL seasons, including a personal-best 18 in 2011 with Philadelphia. He was a first-round draft pick by Houston out of Western Michigan in 2004, and also has played for Seattle, Kansas City and Tennessee.
Babin was claimed by Jacksonville off waivers from Philadelphia in 2012. He voided the final two years of his contract last March to become a free agent, but re-signed with the Jaguars a few days later. Jacksonville released the two-time Pro Bowl selection after the team's minicamp in June.
"He's a guy who has great pass-rushing abilities, so it's going to help us out on third downs or whenever the guy's in there," defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson said. "He's going to bust his tail for us."
The Jets released cornerback Lowell Rose to make room for Babin.
"You watch the tape from last year, and he's got plenty left in the tank," Ryan said.
Also, guard Willie Colon and linebacker Antwan Barnes were each placed on the active/physically unable to perform list as they recover from knee surgeries.
The injury status of Barnes, signed last offseason to be an edge rusher, may have played a role in the signing of Babin. Barnes hurt his right knee in a game at Atlanta last October and was lost for the season.
Tight end Jeff Cumberland was excused for personal reasons, and was expected to report to camp Thursday — the first day of on-field practice. Cumberland wrote on Twitter that he was attending the funeral of a family member.