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LB C.J. Mosley: 'It's Not Always About the Money'

Veteran Jets ‘Backer Reflects on Contract Restructuring, Haason Reddick's Arrival


In March, ESPN's Field Yates reported the Jets and LB C.J. Mosley had agreed to a contract that gave the team salary cap relief and the veteran defender another year on his deal.

"The main mindset was I want to be here," said Mosley of his reasoning during a Wednesday virtual media session. "I want to be a New York Jet and I want to be part of this – this defense that we helped build together. We came a long way from 2019 and when I came here, I wanted to help build a winning program and obviously bring a Super Bowl, a championship, a division championship to our team. Until I feel like I can't do that anymore at the highest level I can, then that's the only reason I feel like I shouldn't be here and be a New York Jet."

Five years ago, Mosley signed a lucrative five-year deal with the Jets. A first-round pick of the Ravens (No. 17 overall) in 2014, Mosley, an Alabama product, made four Pro Bowls in Baltimore and was a three-time second-team All-Pro. He injured his groin in his first game with the Jets and was limited to two contests in 2019. Then Mosley elected to not play in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. But Mosley, who will turn 32 next month, has registered three consecutive 150-tackle seasons (168, 158 and 152) and continues to flourish as the team's Mike 'backer.

When GM Joe Douglas approached Mosley about a contract restructuring, Mosley quickly decided he wasn't going anywhere.

"We had a face-to-face, a heart-to-heart," Mosley said. "He wanted me here and I wanted to be here, and we made it happen. Definitely appreciative of it. There were no dramatics. We didn't have to waste any time, so we just got it done and got to work. That's what it's all about. It's not always about the money and the pay cut and all that stuff, but sacrifices come with many different ways when you talk about sacrificing for your team and your teammates. It's just one small gesture, but it goes a long way. When I say I don't care about the money when I get on the football field, I just want to win and win with my teammates."

Mosley's gotten a bunch of new teammates throughout the offseason with the most notable addition being edge Hasson Reddick. The Jets defense finished No. 3 overall last season in terms of yards/game (292.3) and 5th sacks/pass attempt. While Bryce Huff (10 sacks), DT Quinton Jefferson (6 sacks) and John Franklin-Myers (3.5 sacks) will line up elsewhere next season, Reddick's 50.5 sacks the past four seasons ranks fourth-most in the NFL and the closer's 15 forced fumbles and 13 strip-sacks since 2010 are league leaders.

"He's another explosive guy off the edge," Mosley said of Reddick. "He knows how to find the ball – he can turn those sacks into strip-sacks. And just like Huff, he has a great get-off. We're going to miss JFM. I think since I've been here, he's been a New York Jet as well. So we grew up in the system, we came a long way but those are two great men and great players, Huff and JFM, so I wish them the best. They deserve everything they're getting and our guys who are coming in to replace them, they have some big shoes to fill. But everybody coming into this defense as far as the free agency goes, someway, somehow, they kind of know the defense or know how we play so we shouldn't miss too many steps when we get on the field together."

Entering his fifth playing season for the Green & White, Mosley believes the Jets have the right ingredients to cook in 2024. But there is plenty of work ahead for a man who intends to complete his mission.

"I'm really excited about it. We added some experience, we added some youth, some talent," he said. "I feel like we're doing all the right things, fitting in the right places. The questions that have been raised about our team, I feel like we answered them this offseason and I feel like we had a really strong draft. You got "Mr. Irrelevant", we have a great first pick in our O-lineman (Olu Fashanu) and we got guys who can build competition within our position groups but also on special teams. I feel like we're just doing the right things, but we're just taking the steps each way. I feel like the upstairs are doing their part and we're here on the field doing our part in the offseason program. When the time comes, we'll put it all together. But for right now, everything is going one step at a time."

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