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New York Jets: Free Agency Update (April 14)
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14 Mar 2019 03:19 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Running back Le’Veon Bell rushes against the New England Patriots. (Image Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The New York Jets made a big splash the with signing of running back Le’Veon Bell late on Tuesday night. Here’s a look at what the club did and what we learned on the first official day of the new league year on Wednesday:

1. Bell’s Deal Looks Very Reasonable: So, as it turns out Le’Veon Bell’s deal includes $25 million in guaranteed money, not $35 million as first reported. The contract is basically a two-year, $26 million deal with club options for 2021 and 2022 (with camp bonuses in place). Looks likes not much risk for potentially, a lot of reward.

2. Crowell Cut: With the signing of Bell, veteran runner Isaiah Crowell became expendable. He rushed for 685 yards and six touchdowns last season with a very solid 4.8 yards per carry average, however he was very up and down. He rushed for 102 yards in the opener, 98 yards against Tennessee, and set a franchise record with his 219 yards against the Denver Broncos. That’s 61.2 percent of his yards in three games. An injury against Buffalo (2 carries) in Week 14 ended Crowell’s season short. The team signed Crowell to a three-year, $12 million contract a year ago. By releasing him, the Jets create $3 million in cap space with a $2 million cap hit.

3. McClendon Re-Signed: A day after they agreed to terms to re-sign defensive end Henry Anderson, the Jets brought back another one of their own free agents along the defensive line in noseman Steve McLendon. The veteran is past his prime at 33-years old but still a solid space eater in the middle. The nose tackle market was rather thin and they were able to retain McLendon on a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with an additional $1 million in incentives.

4. Cannon in Focus: Not only did the Jets release Isaiah Crowell, but they saw kick returner Andre Roberts sign with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, which could help second-year back Trenton Cannon’s chances of making the team in 2019. As it stands today, the sixth-round pick will be New York’s primary kick returner and their No. 3 running back behind Bell and Elijah McGuire.

5. Bigger Role for D-Rob: If we’re going to read into contract details, expect cornerback Darryl Roberts to have a bigger role in 2019. We still don’t know how much of his contract is guaranteed, but it was a bit surprising to learn that Roberts earned a three-year deal worth $18 million. It could mean the Jets view him as a starter or at the very least a replacement for the departed Buster Skrine, who was New York’s No. 3 cornerback that past two seasons.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email:

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