By Dan Lagnado
The New York Jets announced Wednesday that they have signed veteran defensive end Jason Babin. Babin played last season with the Jaguars but was released in the offseason. Babin had 7.5 sacks in his first season with the Jags after coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Babin will join an already formidable group up front with New York. The Jets mainly run a 3-4 defense with Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison starting up front. Babin will join those three and Kenrick Ellis to provide depth as well as pass rushing ability.
Combining Babin’s skillset with Wilkerson’s breakout season last year (10.5 sacks), and Richardson’s growth as a presence in the pass defense along with outside linebackers Calvin Pace (10 sacks) and Quinton Coples means the Jets could wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.
At this stage in his career Babin will likely not be an every down player but instead will come in for passing situations or if Rex Ryan chooses to run a 4-3 at certain times to give a different look.
This move also could indirectly help the biggest question area on the defense-the secondary. The more formidable the pass rush for the Jets, the less time the defensive backs have to cover and the more likely there is to be a bad pass or a tipped ball.
At first glance this move doesn’t make sense for a team with a young and impressive defensive line but if anyone can find a way to make Babin fit in and be effective, it’s Rex Ryan.
Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995