The New York Jets have acquired cornerback Lito Sheppard from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for undisclosed conditional draft choices. The announcement was made by Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
"I am excited to be joining the Jets organization," said Sheppard. "It's a fresh new start, a new coach and a new system. I'm looking forward to getting back to playing top-notch football and bringing a winning attitude with me."
Sheppard (5'10", 194), a two-time Pro Bowler, comes to the Jets after seven years with the Eagles. He was originally selected by Philadelphia 26th overall in the 2002 draft. He appeared in 93 games, starting 63, recording 256 tackles, 18 interceptions, three sacks, 49 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Sheppard has returned three interceptions for touchdowns, including two 100-yard returns. Only Sheppard and Ed Reed have multiple interception returns of 100-plus yards in NFL history.
"We acquired a veteran corner with Pro Bowl ability," said head coach Rex Ryan. "This young man has already gone to two Pro Bowls. He is a great athlete with the top-end speed that we look for to play that position. We think he can match up with some of the best receivers in the game."
This past season Sheppard played in 16 games with three starts and contributed 23 tackles, one interception, five PDs and one forced fumble on a Philadelphia defense that ranked third overall in the NFL, yielding 274.3 yards per game. The Eagles allowed 289 points, fourth-fewest in the league, and recorded 29 takeaways — 15 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries.