Jets Linebackers Look Ahead: C.J. Mosley Could Return to the Picture

'Backers All Stepped Up in '20; Five Can Become UFAs, Two Can Be RFAs in March

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Table inside Article
Player GP-GS-DNP-IA Def/ST Snaps
Neville Hewitt 16-16-0-0 1129-188
Tarell Basham 16-9-0-0 734-161
Jordan Jenkins 12-12-0-1 528-64
Harvey Langi 14-6-0-0 513-239
Avery Williamson 7-6-0-1 355-38
Frankie Luvu 13-3-0-0 257-237
Bryce Hager 10-2-0-0 137-149
Alec Ogletree 2-1-1-0 73-0
Blake Cashman 4-1-0-3 3-45
Noah Dawkins 5-0-0-0 0-49
Sharif Finch 3-0-0-0 0-39
Brady Sheldon 2-0-0-0 0-22
Patrick Onwuasor 1-0-0-0 0-8

Voluntary Opt-Out: C.J. Mosley

Finished on Injured Reserve: Jenkins, Langi, Cashman, Onwuasor

Finished on Practice Squad: Dawkins, Sheldon

Reserve/Future Signing: John Daka, Dawkins

No Longer With Team: Williamson, Ogletree

Potential Unrestricted FAs in 2021: Basham, Hager, Hewitt, Jenkins, Onwuasor
Potential Restricted FAs in 2021: Langi, Luvu

'21: A New Deal
GM Joe Douglas said after the season that he'll be in contact with C.J. Mosley, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns, to "see where he's at, make sure he's in a good place, his health is good, he's feeling good. Obviously, he's a special player." If Mosley is at his form from the Ravens and for pretty much one game as a Jet (the 2019 season opener vs. the Bills), this unit will be the stronger for it.

Neville Hewitt was an ironman with 1,317 total snaps, and he, Tarell Basham, Jordan Jenkins and Harvey Langi were the 'backers with the most snaps last year. But the first three (plus Bryce Hager and Patrick Onwuasor) can become unrestricted free agents, while Langi and Frankie Luvu could be restricted FAs. Noah Dawkins, who played special teams the last five games, and John Daka, an undrafted FA out of James Madison with the Ravens last offseason, signed reserve-future deals.

'20: Quick Look Back
The linebacking corps had as many comings and goings as the secondary behind them and the O-line on the other side of the ball. Avery Williamson was traded to Pittsburgh after eight games, Alec Ogletree was released after four, while Blake Cashman, Jenkins, Langi and Onwuasor all finished the season on IR. This led to nine different players getting starts at LB. Yet everyone seemed to pitch in with plays when his number was called.

Hewitt played outside and inside and led the defense with 1,129 snaps and 131 tackles. Basham chalked up 3.5 sacks and 7.5 other tackles for loss/no gain, rising in prominence over the final quarter of the schedule when the reliable Jenkins went on IR. Luvu had a number of big second-half tackles in the backfield. When the ILBs thinned out, Hager stepped up with two starts and 137 defensive snaps. Others who saw action included practice-squadders Sharif Finch, Brady Sheldon and Dawkins.

LB Trivia
Hewitt didn't reach his goal of 140 total tackles, but his 131 were still the most tackles by any NFL defender this past season who started in the league as an undrafted free agent. And it was the most tackles by a Jets defender who began as a UDFA since S Victor Green compiled 200-plus tackles (coaches' video breakdown) in both the 1996 and '97 seasons.

See the Top Photos of Neville Hewitt and the Linebackers in 2020

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