Every NFL team wants a quarterback type at the heart of their defense, and the New York Jets now have exactly that in veteran linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Heading into the 2019 offseason, the New York Jets had their share of glaring needs on both sides of the ball. On defense, the primary need was at corner. But with Darron Lee rumored to be on the trade block (and eventually dealt), the Jets were desperate for a true difference-maker at linebacker.
It looked like the Jets may have had their man in Anthony Barr, but at the last minute, he chose to remain with the Minnesota Vikings on a long-term deal. That left New York heading back to the drawing board, and they eventually found a player who fit their need perfectly.
C.J. Mosley, a four-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick, was surprisingly allowed to test the market by the Baltimore Ravens. The Jets gladly obliged, breaking the back to drop Mosley into the middle of their young but promising defense.
We’re just days into Mosley’s first training camp with the Jets, but new head coach Adam Gase is already raving about what his new defensive leader brings to the table (via team contributor Randy Lange):
We’ve got a quarterback on the defense. In Gregg’s system, that guy has flexibility and they give him the tools that you need. … The Mike linebacker has to be mentally very sharp and be an experienced guy that has been in systems like that to where he can make some adjustments in game and on certain plays.
I’ve never been around anybody that’s been able to really be that type of guy. I’ve been around some good players. But he’s the best one I’ve ever been around.
Mosley was a mainstay in Baltimore, and with the Gang Green trying to transform their culture from a losing one to a winning one, he brings valuable playoff experience. For a team that hasn’t made a trip to the postseason in nearly a decade, Mosley is exactly the kind of leader they need.
The Jets have tons of playmakers across the defense, including Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, who has already established himself as a vocal leader for this young roster. Mosley’s presence should only help Adams develop his leadership, while giving the Jets another experienced playmaker on defense.
This is the best defense the Jets have had in quite some time, and Mosley could be a huge reason why they finally return to the playoffs.