The Jets have signed LB James Burgess.
Burgess, who became an unrestricted free agent after the Green & White did not tender him, started 10 games for the club last season and finished second on the team with 90 tackles, 1 behind S Jamal Adams. Burgess led the club, unofficially, with 17 tackles for loss/no gain on rushes and receptions. He also had two half sacks for a total of 18 tackles for loss/no gain.
The fourth-year veteran originally signed with the Dolphins in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville. He played on four different teams in '16 — Mi, Chargers, Ravens and Jaguars — before signing with the Browns that December. The 6'0", 230-pounder signed a reserve/future deal and played in 17 games (11 starts) from 2017-18 in Cleveland. The 26-year-old has a career 163 tackles, 21 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 8 PD and 1 INT.
Burgess remains under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was the defensive coordinator in Cleveland when Burgess joined the Browns.
"There's a picture that I have in my office and it probably doesn't sound really good when I tell you this story, but when we played Jacksonville a couple years ago over there, his helmet looked like back when I played — it was crushed and broken," Williams said of Burgess. "This is a young man that plays and gives you everything he can and then he's smart enough to fit in. … He's very sharp."
At the end of the season, Burgess told Newyorkjets.com's Randy Lange "The Jets have to deal with my agency, but I want to be back. I love it here, man."
He added after the season finale at Buffalo: "I feel really proud of this team and this organization. Obviously finishing 6-2 after starting 1-7, it takes a special team to do that. So I'm just excited about the future for us."
Burgess is the second LB Joe Douglas reportedly reached agreement with in free agency, in addition to Neville Hewitt, who started 12 games for the Jets in 2019.