The New York Jets made an under-the-radar signing on the first day of the new league year by retaining linebacker/special teamer Neville Hewitt.
On a day where the 2018 New York Jets special teams unit was effectively decimated, the team managed to re-sign one of their core special teamers in linebacker Neville Hewitt.
A pair of Pro Bowl special teamers for the Jets in 2018 found new homes on Wednesday as kicker Jason Myers joined the Seattle Seahawks and return man Andre Roberts signed on with the Buffalo Bills. This came a little after the team had declined options on key special teams players Terrence Brooks and Kevin Pierre-Louis signaling a change in the Jets unit that excelled in 2018.
But one face will return for 2019 and it’s none other than the aforementioned Hewitt.
Hewitt was signed by the Jets last offseason after spending three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. The Marshall product played in all 16 games for the Jets last season, the third time he’s done that in four years, playing primarily on special teams.
However, Hewitt was able to earn some playing time down the stretch starting the final four games of the year following Darron Lee‘s late-season suspension.
The Jets signed Hewitt to a one-year, $2 million contract.
Source confirms that the Jets signed ILB Neville Hewitt to a one-year deal (as @RapSheet said).
Hewitt did a nice job last season when Darron Lee was suspended.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 13, 2019
Source confirms Jets are re-signing LB Neville Hewitt to a one-year deal, as @RapSheet reported. Hewitt was a good ST player for the Jets last year and filled in nicely for Darron Lee in last month of the season. #nyj
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) March 13, 2019
The #Jets have signed FA ILB Neville Hewitt to a 1-year contract, source said. He had 39 tackles last year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2019
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While this isn’t a signing that will garner much attention, it’s certainly nice to see the Jets opt to keep at least one of their key special teamers from 2018. With integral members of the special teams unit in the aforementioned Brooks, Pierre-Louis, and Eric Tomlinson likely departing via free agency, retaining Hewitt is a smart move.
He has experience playing under head coach Adam Gase from their time together in Miami and his familiarity with special teams coordinator Brant Boyer should serve him well. That being said, he isn’t necessarily guaranteed a roster spot.
Hewitt will have a leg up on his competition but is by no means a lock to make the final 53-man roster come September. His value as a special teamer should carry him as should his experience filling in at linebacker next year.
Ultimately, on a day that saw the departure of many of the players that made the Jets special teams unit the No. 1 ranked unit in 2018, Hewitt remains one of the only holdovers remaining. If for no other reason, this is a good re-signing.