Free Agency

NY Jets: Initial grade and analysis for the Vinny Curry signing

Mar 25, 2021, 10:34 AM EDT
NY Jets, Vinny Curry Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Vinny Curry Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Jets officially announced the signing of veteran defensive end Vinny Curry on Wednesday further bolstering what has the potential to be an excellent defensive line in 2021.

Curry and the Jets have been flirting with one another for what feels like years at this point with the two sides rumored to be mutually interested in a union.

Finally, they managed to get a signing done this offseason agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.3 million with a maximum of $2 million based on incentives.

General manager Joe Douglas reunites with a player who became a fan-favorite and locker-room leader during his eight years in Philadelphia. Of course, the two crossed paths while Douglas was serving as the team’s vice president of player personnel from 2016 to 2019.

It’s no surprise to see Douglas make a push for the veteran Curry. And it’s easy to see what intrigued him.

Vinny Curry adds a veteran presence to the NY Jets’ pass-rush depth chart

With the switch to a base 4-3 under new head coach Robert Saleh, the Jets needed to completely overhaul their edge rushers. Gone were the likes of Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham, and Frankie Luvu and they’ve been replaced with guys like Carl Lawson and, now, Vinny Curry.

Curry has been a rock-solid rotational end over the course of his nine-year NFL career — eight of which he spent with the Eagles. He’s never managed fewer than 2.5 sacks in a season despite playing a full-time starting role in just one season.

This past year, Curry finished with three sacks in 11 games as his season was cut short due to a nagging hamstring injury and COVID-19 protocols. But in 2019, he finished third on the team with five sacks and 12 QB hits.

Curry has also consistently graded out well with Pro Football Focus having earned a PFF grade south of 68.0 just once in the past five years. And in two of the last four years, he’s been given a PFF grade above 79.0 which ranked him in the top-25 at his position.

The 32-year-old has primarily been used as a rotational pass-rusher which is where the strength of his game lies. However, he can hold his own in run defense as well.

Curry was also a very efficient pass-rusher last season. Despite playing just 148 pass-rush snaps, Curry managed a pressure rate of 12.8 percent. That actually ranked even higher than Lawson’s 12.5 percent, despite Lawson finishing top-five in pressures leaguewide.

Expect Curry to rotate at the defensive end role opposite Lawson with John Franklin-Myers. The team could also look to add further edge depth in the 2021 NFL Draft to complement the likes of Bryce Huff, Kyle Phillips, and Jabari Zuniga who will all compete for reserve snaps.

It’s likely we see Curry play somewhere around 40 percent of snaps depending on how comfortable the Jets are with Franklin-Myers. It would make sense for Franklin-Myers to play the base end role on early downs while Curry takes over on passing downs.

The signing of Vinny Curry continues to reinforce the idea of strengthening an already-existing strength. The Jets are loading up the defensive line for 2021.

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Something that should make Robert Saleh very happy.

Grade: B-

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