NY Jets: Will the Jets re-sign or decline Albert McClellan?
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets have a collection of players who will be unrestricted free agents in March. What will the team decide to do with linebacker Albert McClellan?
The NY Jets have a large group of players set to hit the open market in March with some difficult high-profile players amongst that group. One player who won’t receive nearly as much fanfare is Albert McClellan.
Players like Jordan Jenkins, Robby Anderson, and Brian Poole highlight a list of 21 players set to be unrestricted free agents come March 18th. McClellan is one of those players, but he’s certainly not one of the more notable.
The veteran linebacker was signed by the Jets in mid-August after starter Avery Williamson went down with a torn ACL that would cost him his season. He was originally released as part of final roster cuts but was re-signed to the active roster the next day.
Through the first five weeks of the season, McClellan played exclusively on special teams serving as one of Brant Boyer‘s favorites. However, the 33-year-old was given his first taste of defensive action in the Jets’ Week 6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
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Inserted because of injury, McClellan played 28 snaps on defense before exiting the game with a head injury that was later identified as a concussion. And just like that, McCllenan’s 2019 season was over as he was placed on the injured reserve two weeks later.
Now an unrestricted free agent, could the Jets look to bring him back?
Should the Jets re-sign him?
Albert McClellan is a proven veteran special-teamer with prior starting experience. But given how deep the Jets are at linebacker, don’t expect the team to show much interest in retaining him.
C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson will return from injury next season and while the latter could be a possible cap casualty, the team still has 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman and could bring back Neville Hewitt and James Burgess as well.
Burgess, in particular, seems like a lock to come back given that he will be a restricted free agent meaning that the Jets could match any offer he receives.
McClellan would likely be behind all five of those players on the depth chart meaning that there is no real reason to consider re-signing him.
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Will the Jets re-sign him?
McClellan’s tenure with the Jets seems destined to be a short one.
At 33-years-old, the Jets could absolutely do better with cheaper, young depth pieces. More so, those depth pieces already seem to be on the roster in the form of Cashman and Burgess — assuming the latter is brought back.
Even if the Jets were to cut ties with Williamson, they have more than enough depth to get by, especially if Hewitt is re-signed.
The only value McClellan might provide over others is his extensive track record of stellar special teams play. But even so, the Jets should have no trouble replacing his production with Hewitt who is also notoriously a stout special-teamer.
McClellan is as good as gone and the veteran will look to sign on with another organization as a depth linebacker/core special-teamer.
Odds of re-signing: <1%