NY Jets: LB Neville Hewitt has returned to the team in free agency
By Paul A. Esden Jr.
The NY Jets have re-signed veteran linebacker Neville Hewitt in free agency. Here are the full details and why this is a great move.
The NY Jets continue to take care of their own in free agency.
On Friday afternoon Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Gang Green had re-signed veteran linebacker Neville Hewitt to a one-year deal for $2 million.
Earlier on Friday, the Jets announced that they had also re-signed cornerback Arthur Maulet to a one-year deal.
Last year the Jets experienced a snake-bitten 2019 season that featured an array of injuries that crippled the team. Although no position was hit harder than the linebacking core.
It started in the preseason when linebacker Avery Williamson suffered a torn ACL vs the Atlanta Falcons. Jets head coach Adam Gase took a lot of heat for the injury because Williamson was playing later than any other starting player in that preseason game.
Then just a few short weeks later the team opened up its season at home vs the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. That’s when things started to tumble downhill.
CJ Mosley was the crowned jewel of the 2019 free-agency spending spree for the Jets. He received a record-breaking five-year deal worth $85 million with $51 million in total guarantees. Mosley reset the linebacker market with an average salary of over $17 million per season.
Prior to joining the green and white, Mosely had only missed three games in his five seasons in the league with the Baltimore Ravens. With the Jets, he didn’t get to complete a single contest.
Mosley went down in the third quarter and never returned to the game. A few weeks later he suited up against the New England Patriots, but it was painfully obvious that he wasn’t fully healthy. Shortly thereafter the team announced he had been placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
In addition to those players, the team also lost promising rookie Blake Cashman to a troublesome shoulder injury that cost him nine games.
The #Jets Zone w/ @BoyGreen25 & @nyjets LB @Neville_Hewitt – Free agency & what he values most from a team.– Playing for Gregg Williams.– His perspective on the crazy 2019 season of injuries & getting his opportunity to shine. #TakeFlight #NFLCombinehttps://t.co/FpBUgTd1V2
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) February 26, 2020
The linebacker position exploding into pieces really disrupted the flow of the 2019 season for the NY Jets. Although adversity creates opportunity and that’s something veteran linebacker Neville Hewitt thrived on under Gregg Williams.
After having some success with the Miami Dolphins as a reserve linebacker his first few years in the league, he exploded on the scene for the Jets.
Hewitt ended up starting 12 games at linebacker and had his best season as a pro. He recorded two interceptions, five pass deflections, three sacks, 75 combined tackles, six tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits.
After his terrific season, Hewitt headed into free agency unsure of where he would suit up next. On day three of the open free agency period, Joe Douglas locked in a key depth piece who has proven he can start in a pinch.
This is an under the radar move that won’t be highlighted by many of the national media entities, but these are the kind of solid additions that build the foundation of a good football team.
Prior to Hewitt reaching free agency, he sat down for an exclusive interview on The Jets Zone podcast hosted by Boy Green. He talked about what he was looking for on his next team and why he loved playing for the NY Jets. You can listen to that interview above or download it to listen whenever you’d like by clicking here.