The New York Jets and veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander are agreeing to a one-year contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
Alexander’s move reunites him with Jets head coach Robert Saleh, who served as his defensive coordinator for the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
Alexander will most likely be used by the Jets as an outside linebacker who can play both the strongside and weakside positions. C.J. Mosley (in the middle) and Quincy Williams are the only two starting positions that have been determined. There are two candidates vying for the third position: Marcell Harris and Hamsah Nasirildeen.
The Jets left themselves open to attack by ignoring the linebacker position in the draught and free agency. They visited Alexander in May with the intention of adding a veteran to the group. Even though he left without concluding a contract, they continued to be interested.
Since the season’s end, Alexander has joined the Jets as their fourth defensive player who formerly played for Saleh’s San Francisco 49ers. Harris, cornerback D.J. Reed, and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas round out the group.
After being acquired by the New Orleans Saints in a midseason trade with the 49ers, Alexander tore his Achilles tendon in Week 16 of the 2020 season. Despite this, Alexander made an impressive recovery the following year, playing in 12 games and recording 50 tackles, a career-high 3.5 sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble.
Due to an ankle injury early in the season, Alexander, 27, only started eight games for the Saints; however, six of those starts came in the final eight contests, during which he participated in roughly 80% of the defensive snaps.
Also plagued by injuries was Alexander’s tenure in San Francisco. Prior to being traded to the Saints, he sustained a high ankle sprain in 2020 and a torn pectoral in 2019. He has a good range, and with 521 career tackles, 12 sacks, 8 interceptions, and 10 forced fumbles, he has been extremely valuable in pass defence.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the 6-foot-1, 227-pound player in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and he made his sole Pro Bowl appearance with them in 2017.
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