The Jets' defensive line has improved significantly this offseason, poised to be one of the best units in the National Football League.
That group of talented defenders just got even better.
New York signed former 49ers defensive end Ronald Blair, the team confirmed Tuesday morning.
Not only is it a move to bring in another veteran to bolster Gang Green's pass rush, but it's a familiar face that blossomed under Robert Saleh in San Francisco.
Blair didn't play at all in 2020 due to an ACL tear, but established a reputation for his abilities on the defensive line over his first four seasons in the league. Out of Appalachian State, the former fifth-rounder accumulated a total of 13.5 sacks in a 49ers uniform from 2016 to 2019.
Even after missing all of last season, Blair is only three years removed from his best campaign in the NFL. Over 16 games in 2018, Blair set a career-high with 5.5 sacks, 36 tackles (10 for loss) and 14 quarterback hits.
Only time will tell what kind of player the Jets get with Blair in 2021, but if any coach can bring the best out of a player on that side of the ball, it's Saleh. The head coach served as Blair's defensive coordinator for virtually the entirety of the defensive end's stint in San Francisco.
Earlier this offseason, Saleh articulated just how pleased he is with the additions this organization has made on the defensive line. New York signed Carl Lawson, Sheldon Rankins and Vinny Curry in free agency, boosting a unit that already includes Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and more.
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