Potential New York Jets Free Agent: Nick Barnett

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Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Nick Barnett (50) against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of changes are coming to Florham Park, as we all know. A position that will have some of the most changes will be the linebacker position, and with good reason. Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, and company looked liked dinosaurs. When they were in space needing to make a play, they couldn’t catch a cold, much less an offensive player. How does that lyric go? “Change is gonna come, oh yes it will.”

Yesterday, the Buffalo Bills made a big splash, releasing linebacker Nick Barnett. He has been a big part of defenses for many years. After 10 years in the league, Barnett still makes an impact, recording over 100 tackles last season with the Buffalo. The question of the morning is, should the Jets take a look at Nick Barnett? Let’s take a closer look.

There are a lot of positives to the resume of Nick Barnett. In a ten year career, Nick started at least 15 games in eight of those years. In each of those seasons, he recorded over 100 tackles. Over those eight seasons with the Packers and the Bills, he averaged 119.5 total tackles per season. THAT, my friends, is the model of consistency.

Let’s look at some of his grades, courtesy of PFF. His overall grade of 6.0 in 1025 snaps is significantly higher than any of the Jets outside linebackers, the closest being is 0.3 for Bryan Thomas. Calvin Pace recorded a -17.4 in 1026 snaps. In pass coverage, he was better than any Jets outside linebacker as well, with a 1.9 rating. Garrett McIntyre was the closest with a -1.1 grade, and Calvin Pace’s grade was a -4.4.

All these numbers obviously would be an improvement over what the Jets have. He graded out with a -4.0 in the running game, which actually is lower than Calvin Pace’s grade against the run, which was a 0.7. But, it ranked right along with the rest of this group of linebackers. There are a lot of good reasons to bring this player to the New York Jets.

But there are good reasons NOT to bring this player to the Jets as well, which we will talk about on the next page.

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