As was reported the other day, the New York Jets have decided to retain backup inside linebacker Neville Hewitt for at least one more season. When Darron Lee was suspended for the final four games of the 2018 campaign for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, Hewitt filled in admirably, finishing the season with 39 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. The one-year deal is for $2 million.
Gang Green has been rumored to be seeking a trade partner for Lee at this point. With the signing of Hewitt, as well as former Ravens standout CJ Mosley coming on board, trading Lee may be the best case scenario.
While improving, Lee has been inconsistent in coverage and still isn’t strong enough against the run. Insert Hewitt, who played well down the stretch, particularly against the run, and you have a strong backup linebacker. The converted college safety should provide quality depth in Gregg Williams’ new system, especially at a position that may look entirely different than it did just one year prior. Hewitt started his career in Miami, so he has some level of familiarity with head coach Adam Gase.
The Jets should not be done spending money on either side of the ball in free agency, but retaining players in the National Football League is the best way to establish continuity. Along with Hewitt, the Jets have also re-signed DT Steve McLendon, CB Darryl Roberts and OL Jonotthan Harrison.