By Glenn Naughton
Now that general manager Mike Maccagnan has seemingly fixed what ailed the Jets defense last season by landing multiple high-priced free agents Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist, his attention appears to have shifted to adding depth elsewhere.
With David Harris signing a three-year contract before hitting free agency, the Jets are left with Harris, DeMario Davis, Calvin Pace, Quinton Coples and Jason Babin from last season’s group of linebackers. Rookie holdovers Trevor Reilly and Ik Enemkpali showed promise in limited playing time last season but neither one had the opportunity to showcase their skills for an extended period at any point in 2014.
Given the advanced ages of Pace and Babin (34) coupled with Reilly and Enemkali’s inexperience, the Jets appear to be in the market for a veteran pass-rush specialist for gang green’s defense.
Mike Garafalo of Fox Sports reported that the Jets met with former New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora:
Osi Umenyiora back to the New York market? Maybe. Source says the free-agent DE was in NJ today to meet with the … Jets. Interesting.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 18, 2015
While Umenyiora did struggle in Atlanta last season as he registered only three sacks, he’s worth bringing in for a look as the Falcons fielded the worst secondary in the NFL, surrendering an average of 279.9 yards per game through the air (32nd) and 20 touchdown passes. With this being the case, almost any pass rush specialist is going to struggle to get to the quarterback. If the Jets think Umenyiora has enough left in the tank to contribute as a situational pass rusher, he would be a popular choice.
Also on the Jets’ schedule was former Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore and New York Giants back-up offensive tackle James Brewer.
Lattimore was an undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State who caught on with Green Bay in 2011. Primarily a special teams player, the inside linebacker has logged nine career starts registering 85 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception.
Brewer was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Giants. The 6′ 6” 320 pounder played his college football at the University of Indiana and has played in 26 games, eight of them starts, since joining the Giants. NFL statistical website PFF.com shows Brewer as having earned overall negative grades in each of the past two seasons.