The Jets linebackers room is getting crowded.
The team added another inside linebacker on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year deal with former Raven Patrick Onwuasor, according to a source. He joins C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Neville Hewitt, Blake Cashman and James Burgess in what is becoming the deepest position on the team.
Onwuasor is an interesting signing for the Jets because of his potential upside. The 27-year-old had a strong 2018 season for the Ravens, starting 12 games at weakside linebacker with 59 tackles, 5 ½ sacks and one interception.
Baltimore liked what it saw from him so much that he was offered contract extension that he turned down. The Ravens also made him their “Mike” linebacker after the Jets signed away Mosley in free agency.
Onwuasor struggled with the bigger role, though. He was benched after five games. He wound up playing in 14 games with six starts in 2019. He had 64 tackles and three sacks. Now, Onwuasor will be reunited with Mosley.
In all, the undrafted free agent started 32 games over four years for Baltimore.
Onwuasor is known as an aggressive linebacker who is around the ball a lot. He was an effective blitzer for the Ravens, who sometimes gets too aggressive and overruns plays.
While the Jets have a crowd at inside linebacker, they only have three outside linebackers at the moment: Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham and Harvey Langi. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to “cross train” his players at different positions, so it is possible some of these inside backers could find themselves playing on the edge more.
Mosley and Williamson are both coming back from serious injuries that cost them major time in 2019, so depth at the position is a good idea.