The Jets and general manager Mike Maccagnan dove deep into free agency during the legal tampering period on Tuesday. The madness continued into the start of free agency on Wednesday and it may not be over yet.
Among some of the big names Gang Green was able to ink, which heavily revolved around the quarterback position, the team was also able to lock down a premiere linebacker in Avery Williamson.
Formerly of the Titans, Williamson is coming off quite a productive year. Despite a career low in snap counts, he had the most consistent season of his career, while still matching his production from the previous few seasons.
The signing of Williamson all but made for the end of the Demario Davis era in New York. Davis was reportedly looking for a deal that included upwards of $10 million a year, a price too steep for Maccagnan. In that regard, the Jets turned their attention to Williamson who was brought in on a three-year, $22.5 million deal.
The Jets didn't value Davis as much as this deal, so they turned to Avery Williamson, who will be getting $7.5 M per year. The Jets will miss Davis' locker room presence. https://t.co/J9ccb3wUv3
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 14, 2018
In 2017, Williamson was placed into more of a two-down linebacker role. In the three seasons prior, the Titans used him more as a three-down player. This brings light to why his snap count may have been lower, but was still as productive.
The Jets could use Williamson in both scenarios effectively. In 2017, Gang Green often utilized their seven defensive backs in a dime package. Davis was often used as an edge rusher. Darron Lee was deployed as a conventional linebacker, and most of the time one or two of the safeties joined him up front.
In this scenario, Williamson’s versatility would make a perfect fit. It would allow the Jets to take him out comfortably and plug in another effective pass rusher. It would also make room for either of the safeties, Lee or Jordan Jenkins to drop back in coverage from time to time.
Overall, the signing of Williamson was a great one for the Jets. They get a player who has produced similiarly (arguably better) than what they had in Davis last year. In six seasons, Davis had 13.5 sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble. Williamson has 11.5 sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles in four years.