The NY Jets have signed former CFL standout safety Anthony Cioffi. What could the local New Jersey native bring to the Jets in 2020?
The NY Jets are still in the infancy stage of the offseason, but that hasn’t stopped them from making roster moves. And on Thursday, the team signed formed CFL star Anthony Cioffi to a two-year contract.
Free agency may not start until March 18th, but starting this past Tuesday, NFL teams were eligible to sign CFL free agents and the Jets took advantage of this signing the hybrid safety.
Cioffi is a local New Jersey product who grew up in Springfield and attended college at Rutgers. The 25-year-old would play all four years with Rutgers starting in the secondary in his final two seasons.
In 122 career collegiate games, Cioffi amassed 122 tackles, eight interceptions, and 2.5 sacks establishing himself as one of the cornerstones of Rutgers’ secondary.
But despite his college success, Cioffi went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft and signed on with the Oakland Raiders. Unfortunately, he failed to make the team out of training camp and went unsigned for the remainder of the season.
Cioffi would be signed by the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks in April of 2018 and he would spend the next two seasons in a starting role for his new CFL team.
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In 33 career games, Cioffi totaled 97 defensive tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions while playing a hybrid safety/linebacker role. That prompted the Jets to take a chance on the athletic defensive back.
At just 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, don’t expect Cioffi to play any linebacker in the NFL. But his impressive speed and athleticism should give him a decent shot of sticking around on special teams.
The Jets currently have five safeties under contract — including Cioffi — with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye holding down the starting roles and Blake Countess and Matthias Farley still under contract as backups.
The team also has longtime veteran Rontez Miles who is set to be an unrestricted free agent and the oft-traveled Bennett Jackson who will be an exclusive-rights free agent. Not to mention any other offseason pick-ups that may be made.
Cioffi will have his work cut out for him, but the New Jersey native is a fun story and his incredible speed could help him carve out a role on the roster. Excelling on special teams will be his key to earning a 53-man roster spot come August.
The competition is stacked, but expect Anthony Cioffi to make the absolute most of this opportunity.