It’s a Crowded Area: Jets Safety Position is Loaded and Up for Grabs
Added by Justin O'Connell on May 19, 2012.
Yeremiah Bell has agreed to a one year contract with the NY Jets.
The New York Jets now have an abundance of players at the safety position, with the signing of Yeremiah Bell, age 34, and two rookies, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen.
Bell received a one-year deal worth $1.4 million, and is expected to back up newcomer LaRon Landry, who signed a one year, $3.5 million, deal over a month ago. Landry is coming off an Achilles injury, but is expect to be ready to start the regular season. Both Bell and Landry are “in the box” type of players. This is something head coach, Rex Ryan, loves and can use in his defensive scheme to get after the quarterback.
Bell led his former team, the Miami Dolphins, in tackles the past four seasons, including 107 tackles last season. With all the Jets signings, it appears that Jim Leonard’s time with the team might come to an end. Leonard is a free agent and is coming off major knee surgery that has threatened his career. Although it does not appear Leonard will return, there is still a possibility, because both sides are fond of each other and have history with each other.
With Landry and Bell holding down the Strong Safety position, the Free Safety position is up for grabs. Eric Smith, who started the second half of last season, is the leading candidate for the job, but there is still a long way to go till the season begins. Both Bush and Allen plan on competing with Smith for the starting job, and it would be no surprise if either ends up taking the position due to their skills.
Scouts.com had Allen rated as the third best safety in the draft and gave him a four out of five star rating for his position. Allen had 88 tackles, 9 ½ for loss, and one sack his senior season.
Bush is no push over, though, and is a rather unrecognized talent coming out of Wake Forest. His senior year he was 1st Team All-ACC, 3rd Team All-American, and recorded six interceptions. He was originally a cornerback until his senior year, so he has remarkable cover skills that could lead to him becoming the cover safety the Jets have been looking for. That will be a necessary role, especially considering they have to play the New England Patriots twice a year.