Instant analysis of Jets agreeing to terms with LB Jarrad Davis

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Tyler Greenawalt
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The Jets’ first strike in free agency wasn’t a big splash, but it could pay dividends for Gang Green’s defense.

New York agreed to a one-year deal with former Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis. The deal is worth up to $7 million.

Davis, the 21st overall pick in 2017, hasn’t looked great over the past two years in Detroit but is still a sensational talent. He looked out of place in Matt Patricia’s defense in 2019 and 2020 after tallying eight sacks, 196 combined tackles, 14 quarterback hits and eight defended passes during his first two years in the league. This past season, Davis only played in 29 percent of the Lions’ defensive snap and started just four games with half a sack and 46 combined tackles.

Right now, it looks like Davis would back-up C.J. Mosley at middle linebacker unless the Jets trade Mosley after fielding trade offers. Davis, who is much more of a pass-rush middle linebacker than a coverage or run-stopping one, could also move to the outside in a 4-3 scheme. Either way, it makes more sense to use Davis situationally in Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s 4-3 defense, which thrives off quicker players at the second level.

The deal is an inexpensive dart throw by Joe Douglas to see if his defensive staff can resurrect a former first-round pick. If it works out, the Jets have a great depth piece in the middle of their defense. At worst, though, Davis provides some experience behind Mosley, something the Jets sorely lacked the past two years when Mosley was on the shelf.

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