Free Agency

Jets Free Agency: Initial grade and analysis of C.J. Mosley

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Inside Linebacker C.J. Mosley #57 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Inside Linebacker C.J. Mosley #57 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets reportedly made their first signing of the second day of the legal tampering period by acquiring linebacker C.J. Mosley for a hefty price.

The offseason spending spree continued on Tuesday as the New York Jets made their biggest move yet reportedly signing former Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley to a massive contract.

Mosley is the latest addition to a Jets linebacker core that suddenly appears stacked. After the signing of Anthony Barr yesterday, the Jets now have the likes of Mosley, Barr, Avery Williamson, and Jordan Jenkins manning the second level of the defense.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for Darron Lee.

Lee, a former first-round pick will likely be used a trade bait with the Jets seemingly set at linebacker for the near and distant future. His play did improve last season but his four-game suspension was likely his ultimate downfall.

As for Mosley, the Jets are signing one of the premier inside linebackers in the league. The Alabama product has been selected to four Pro Bowls in just five NFL seasons and should be an incredible addition to the team’s defense.

Contract Details

The Jets signed Mosley to a massive five-year, $85 million contract with $51 million guaranteed.

National Reaction

Sources: Former #Ravens LB CJ Mosley is expected to sign with the #Jets on a massive 5-year, $85M deal worth $51M guaranteed. That’s $17M per year. It took a lot to leave Baltimore. ???

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2019

It’s no doubt CJ Mosley is a great player and #Jets were willing to ‘overpay’ in this market, but one other big reason?

The team feels he can be the captain they need of front 7 for next 4+ years, with Adams on the back end.

Have lacked that in the middle without David Harris

— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 12, 2019

Sources: Jets bolster their defense by agreeing to a five-year deal with Ravens LB CJ Mosley…. It’s for a whopping $17 million/year.

They’ve poured in a lot of money for two Pro Bowl linebackers (Mosley and Anthony Barr) for Gregg Williams.

Story: https://t.co/bXZ6IJstxV pic.twitter.com/1BenY5ESBZ

— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 12, 2019

Grade

With all the talk around the likes of Le’Veon Bell and Matt Paradis, it was the somewhat surprising signing of C.J. Mosley that made headlines for the Jets early Tuesday morning.

More from Free Agency

While some will definitely question spending $17 million a year on an off-ball linebacker, you must remember that teams will always overpay in free agency. But rather than paying an average player as if they were good, the Jets just paid a great player as if he was elite.

And that’s perfectly fine for free agency.

Given the Jets abundance of cap space — they can still feasibly sign both Bell and Paradis believe it or not — the Mosley signing is a welcome addition and shows the team is serious about building to win now. But don’t mistake this for a quick spending spree giving the Jets a one-to-two-year window.

Each major signing the Jets have made (Mosley, Barr, and Jamison Crowder) is of a player currently 26-years-old or younger. These are players still very much in the prime of their career.

The Jets aren’t being irresponsible with their money. Rather, they’re being proactive sweeping through the free agent market signing players entering their prime, not leaving it.

Mosley is a defensive leader who has been among the best inside linebackers in the NFL for quite some time. The contract is a bit pricey but it will be well worth it if the Jets defense could live up to its apparent potential.

Next. Jets Free Agency: Initial grade and analysis of Jamison Crowder

The Jets needed help in the front seven, they did their part this offseason.

Final Grade: B

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