Jarrad Davis to sign with NY Jets in NFL free agency: 3 things to know about the new LB
The New York Jets have made their first move of free agency, adding a key player for their new defensive scheme under first-year coach Robert Saleh.
The Jets agreed to sign former Lions first-round pick Jarrad Davis, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. Davis is signing a one-year, $7 million deal according to ESPN, who first reported the deal. It's not yet clear how much of the salary will be guaranteed.
Here are three things to know about Davis, the Jets' newest player.
Betting on the fit
Davis was drafted 21st overall by the Lions in the 2017, had two strong seasons, but ultimately never lived up to that potential and even lost his starting job in 2020. But before free agency, there was still buzz of league-wide interest in Davis because he was widely viewed as a bad fit for the Lions' 3-4 defense under Matt Patricia.
In a system that better fits Davis' strengths -- athleticism and speed over coverage -- perhaps he can break through and reach the potential that he showed to earn such a high draft pick. That's what the Jets are hoping.
Davis should be better suited to Robert Saleh's 3-4 offense. What isn't clear is if he'll remain on the inside, where he was in Detroit, or move to play outside linebacker, where his speed gives him pass-rushing potential. He has 10.5 career sacks, six of them in 2018 when he also had 100 total tackles and 10 tackles for a loss.
The Lions selected Davis 17 picks before the Jets drafted his college teammate, Marcus Maye. The two played together for two seasons at Florida, on one of the best defenses in the country.
The addition could help the Jets build chemistry inside the locker room and on the field. But we'll have to see how that plays out.
The Jets agreed to pay Davis $7 million on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports. The guaranteed money in the deal is not known yet, but either way it's a move that comes with some risk but not much.
General manager Joe Douglas filled a need by adding an experienced linebacker at a reasonable price. And he also got a player with the potential to be a massive bargain if he returns to the form he showed in Detroit in 2018.
Andy Vasquez is the Jets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Jets analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.