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Jets Sign Free Agent LB Del'Shawn Phillips

Inspirational Collegian Signed with Falcons in '19, Moved to Buffalo Last Year and Debuted vs. Green & White


The Jets have signed first-year free agent linebacker Del'Shawn Phillips.

Phillips (6-2, 230) was signed as an undrafted free agent by Atlanta after the 2019 NFL Draft but was a final cut in late August. He then was signed to Buffalo's practice squad in October, signed a reserve/future contract with the Bills in January 2020, and made his pro debut in the Bills' opener against the Jets last September. He suffered a quadriceps injury in that game and twice went on injured reserve. Buffalo waived him on Jan. 19. He played in only two NFL games, all 14 of his snaps coming on special teams.

Phillips traveled an interesting collegiate route to get to the NFL. Coming out of Cass Tech in Detroit, he had committed to play at Western Michigan but was ruled academically ineligible. After spending a year away from football and taking community college courses online, he enrolled at Garden City (KS) CC, where he emerged on defense with 7.0 sacks as a freshman and 95 tackles as a sophomore to help the Broncbusters win the 2016 NJCAA national championship.

After committing to transfer to Arizona for his last two seasons of college ball, Phillips sight-adjusted for the University of Illinois. He led the Illini in tackles in both 2017 and 2018 and also led the defense in '18 with four interceptions. After beginning his senior season being voted a team captain, he ended it with All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition.

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