Initial Reaction – New York Jets Sign ILB Avery Williamson

Greg Armstrong with initial reaction to the New York Jets signing ILB Avery Williamson…

Just when you thought Mike Maccagnan and the Jets were fading silently into the night, they make another signing with inside linebacker Avery Williamson. Some initial thoughts…

1 – This likely means that Demario Davis won’t be brought back by the team. Davis had an impressive year after the Jets brought him back in a trade with the Browns and emerged as a locker room leader. He’s approaching 30 and this is most likely his best chance at getting paid. He most likely wanted higher level linebacker money for only real season at playing at a high level.

2 – Williamson is only 26 years old and will most likely be a cheaper option than Davis when the contract numbers are released. He’s durable (only missed one game in his four seasons with the Titans), athletic and has good range for a linebacker. Pro Football Focus rated him as the 10th best linebacker, while also getting a 90.1 rating in rush defense which was the sixth best in the league. What he lacks in coverage skills, he makes up for in run defense. Think of this signing as a younger, better version of Davis for less money.

3 – This signing is a step in the right direction for the Jets on and off the field. On the field they get younger, less expensive option for a position that needed to be filled. Off the field, it shows they are willing to move on from guys whose stories and locker room standings out shined their performance on the field. Kudos to Mike Maccagnan for standing firm and not breaking the bank on a player who is coming off of an outlier of a season.

Photo credit – CBSsports.com