|C.J. Mosley (2019 BAL), Avery Williamson (2018 TEN)
|Patrick Onwuasor (2020 BAL)
|Albert McClellan (2019 UFA / 2020 VFA)
|Blake Cashman (2019 5th Rd)
|James Burgess (2019 MIA), John Franklin-Myers (2019 LRM)
|Neville Hewitt (2018), B.J. Bello (2019)
|Paul Worrilow (2019 / VFA)
Cornerstones and Returnees
The group was decimated by injuries last season as C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Blake Cashman and Albert McClellan all landed on Injured Reserve. Mosley and Williamson, the team's projected starters in 2019, both missed significant playing time as Mosley was sidelined for 14 games with a core-muscle injury and Williamson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. However, both 'backers said in June that they're feeling good and Mosley feels "100%."
"I've been doing some field work and football movements and everything is feeling good. I'm ready to go," he said. "I feel like my body has responded well. My main thing that was hard for me to do was make those hard cuts, those quick movements. Now, I don't feel anything, there's nothing tight anymore. I've been doing my best trying to go full speed and make those type of football cuts that I'd normally be able to do. I think everything is good, but when I get back, I'll still talk to the trainers as far as the protocol to see where I'm at and once they say everything is okay, I'm ready."
Cashman enters his second season with 7 games (5 starts) under his belt. The former fifth-round pick out of Minnesota, known for his speed, totaled 41 tackles, four tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits and 1 pass defense. In free agency, general manager Joe Douglas brought back both Neville Hewitt and James Burgess, who started 12 and 10 games last season, respectively. Burgess finished second on the team with 90 tackles and Hewitt finished third with 78.
"This is probably one of the most competitive groups I've been a part of," Hewitt said. "I've been a part of some really good groups and we have a room full of veterans. Everybody in there can play and started at one point in a game. It's a lot of competition in there and it's going to make everybody in the room better at the end of the day."
Comings and Goings
The only players who are no longer with the Jets are the 34-year-old McClellan and Paul Worrilow, who played four games with the Green & White last season. However, Douglas added Mosley's former Baltimore teammate Patrick "Peanut" Onwuasor, who played in 57 games (32 starts) with the Ravens and has totaled 234 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 5 forced fumbles.
The inside linebackers might be the deepest position on the team and Mosley believes it's unique all six ILBs has starting experience at the pro level. Mosley offered a glimpse of what he can bring to the defense as the quarterback of the defense.
"If his first game was any indicator, obviously we've got a really good player," ILBs coach/assistant head coach Frank Bush said. "Even when you go back and look at the reps he had in the second New England game, he played good, solid football. More than anything, he's going to bring a leadership presence, he's got the ability to make plays and on top of that, the consistency from the position, the guy is just a natural at what he's doing. He's really really consistent. You know what you're getting, you don't have to worry about him. You can put your focus on some guys that maybe need a little more attention.
"Quite frankly, he had a great spring in the sense of he was really on tape of his game when it came to the calls and the adjustments and what not."