NY Jets showing interest in free-agent LB Benardrick McKinney

NY Jets, Benardrick McKinney
NY Jets, Benardrick McKinney / Mark Brown/Getty Images

The NY Jets are already scouring the market looking for recently released players to add to their roster in the next 24-48 hours. One such player is linebacker Benardrick McKinney.

McKinney was released by the Miami Dolphins as part of their final roster cuts on Monday and was expected to draw interest from a number of teams.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network is reporting that the Jets and Washington Football Team are currently showing the most interest in the veteran linebacker.

With just four healthy linebackers currently on their active roster, the Jets could certainly use the additional depth. And it's hard to find much better available depth than McKinney.

Benardrick McKinney would give the NY Jets much-needed linebacker depth

A second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, McKinney spent the last six years anchoring the middle of the Houston Texans defense. Up until this past season, he was a model of consistency and durability missing just four games over his first five seasons.

His best season arguably came in 2018 when he made his first and so far only trip to the Pro Bowl. He finished that year with a fantastic 80.5 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked ninth out of all linebackers in the NFL.

This came on the heels of a five-year, $50 million extension he signed with the team that June. For that one season, he more than lived up to his contract.

He took a slight step back in 2019, but was still a capable starter before suffering a shoulder injury in 2020 that would limit him to just four games.

The Texans shipped him to Miami in the offseason in a deal that brought them future Jets defensive end Shaq Lawson. Now, just a few months after that trade, both players have been sent packing by their respective teams.

And oddly enough, there's a chance the Jets end up with both of them.

The only healthy linebackers on the Jets roster at the moment are C.J. Mosley, Jamien Sherwood, Hamsah Nasirildeen, and Blake Cashman, with the first three projected to be starters.

Once the Jets likely place Jarrad Davis on short-term IR, there's a chance the team could look to re-sign Noah Dawkins who was released on Tuesday. Or they could look to bring in a more experienced option like McKinney.

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Benardrick McKinney is a player worth keeping an eye on over the next couple of days.