Former NY Jets first-round pick wants a reunion this offseason

NY Jets, Darron Lee
NY Jets, Darron Lee / Steven Ryan/GettyImages
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When you consider the players the NY Jets could have had in the 2016 NFL Draft (Chris Jones, Xavien Howard, Michael Thomas, etc.), Darron Lee is probably one of the franchise's more egregious draft busts in recent memory.

Lee was drafted to help fill the void left by the soon-to-retire David Harris with the hope that he could become a similar decade-plus starter for the team. Unfortunately, that's not exactly what happened.

Lee might be a distant memory for many Jets fans, but the former Ohio State standout is hoping to make a return in the near future. Of course, that's if the Jets will have him.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Lee suggested that he would welcome a return to New York "if [the Jets] can't find C.J. [Mosley] a partner." Lee insisted that he was "staying ready" and that he still has a "lot of miles left in these legs."

In fact, Lee even proclaimed that he would "play for free." Evidently, Lee is pretty supportive of a return to the Jets.

Don't bet on a Darron Lee/NY Jets reunion happening

While a Darron Lee reunion in New York would be a fun narrative, it's hard to believe the Jets — or any NFL team, for that matter — will come calling anytime soon.

Lee was traded from the Jets to the Kansas City Chiefs in May of 2019, and he went on to appear in all 16 games for the team that season. That was his last real taste of NFL action, however.

Lee became a free agent in the 2020 offseason and would be hit with his second suspension while a free agent. He did return and actually sign on with the Buffalo Bills in November of 2020, but he only appeared in two games and played exclusively on special teams.

The Las Vegas Raiders signed Lee in 2021, but he was released as part of final roster cuts. That's the last we've seen of Lee in the NFL.

Now over a year removed from his last stint with an NFL team — and well over three years since his last defensive snap — it's probably safe to say that Lee's NFL journey has come to an end.

The Jets could use some linebacker help this offseason with Quincy Williams and Kwon Alexander both set to hit free agency. However, if they're looking for a new running mate for C.J. Mosley, I don't think they're contacting Lee.

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His time with the Jets, and likely the NFL, is probably over.