The Jets entered free agency needing to bring on experienced defensive backs to help with a young secondary.
On Thursday, general manager Joe Douglas and his team reeled in veteran safety Lamarcus Joyner on a one-year deal worth $4.5 million, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Joyner will provide some depth at a position that was routinely picked apart by opposing aerial attacks a year ago. Beyond safety Marcus Maye, who was tagged by the Jets earlier this offseason, New York's defensive backs featured a slew of rookies still gathering their bearings at the next level.
Now, head coach Robert Saleh has a seven-year veteran that he can count on in his squad's defensive back room.
Joyner, 30, is a former second-round pick. He spent his first five NFL seasons with the Rams before playing the last two years with the Raiders.
Over seven seasons and 95 games played, Joyner has racked up 420 tackles, 33 pass deflections, four interceptions and five sacks. His best season, from a ballhawk standpoint, came in 2017. In his penultimate season with the Rams, Joyner picked off three passes including an interception he returned 104 yards for a touchdown.
Last year, with the Raiders, Joyner played in 14 games, making six starts. He defended five passes while making a total of 66 tackles, six for loss.
Other than Maye, New York's depth chart in the secondary includes safety Ashtyn Davis along with corners Bryce Hall, Bless Austin, Javelin Guidry and Corey Ballentine. All five of those names have been in the league for two years or less (Hall, Guidry and Davis were rookies in 2020).
Bringing in Joyner won't just improve the secondary in the short term. If all goes well, and this group can work well together, Joyner's experience can translate directly into the growth of those younger players looking to take steps forward in green and white.
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