New York Jets: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time
- Signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract w/Jets in 2004
- 64 career games started w/Jets
- 421 career tackles w/Jets
- 10.5 career sacks w/Jets
Eric Barton was never the flashiest or most high-profile for any team he was on, but he was always a reliable starting linebacker who played well in all facets of the game.
Barton was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft. Despite spending his first three seasons in the league primarily as a special teamer, Barton was finally given his chance to start ahead of the 2002 season and he didn’t disappoint.
The Maryland product broke out totaling 125 tackles, six sacks and four forced fumbles in his first year as a starter with Oakland. After another solid 2003 season in which he tallied a career-high 132 tackles, Barton departed via free agency to the Jets ahead of the 2004 season.
In his first season with the team, Barton tied for the team-lead in tackles with 107 making his presence felt early on. He would end up starting 64 games for the Jets at linebacker securing 421 tackles over five seasons with the team.
While he would primarily play second-fiddle to the likes of Jonathan Vilma and David Harris during his tenure, he still managed to once again lead the Jets in tackles during his final season with the team in 2008.
Barton was eventually replaced by another member of this list prior to the 2009 season and the veteran finished out his career with the Cleveland Browns after two solid seasons with the Dawg Pound.
Barton was never the most gifted athlete nor did he leave the most notable legacy behind, but his steady, reliable play make him a very impressive free agent signing in the team’s history.
Next: No. 10