What the New York Jets are getting in free agent linebacker Patrick Onwuasor
Patrick Onwuasor has become the latest find of New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas, the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker signing on a one-year deal on Thursday afternoon. It will re-unite Onwuasor on the Jets with C.J. Mosley.
The duo played as fellow linebackers for three seasons in Baltimore before Mosley came to New York last year in free agency.
The signing of Onwuasor, as reported by ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, indicates yet another addition for a Jets defense that is starting to take shape. After spending much of the first few days of free agency revamping the offensive line, Douglas is taking value shots to improve the defense.
The pursuit and signing of Onwuasor follows the emerging mold of what is Douglas’ mentality in free agency. A bit under the radar, Onwuasor is coming off a decent season with the Ravens but saw his impact recede in 14 appearances with six starts (he had 25 combined starts the previous two years).
He played in 474 snaps on defense, down from his career-high of 647 snaps in 2018. Even with the decrease in playing time, Onwuasor still had a respectable and solid 48 tackles as well as three sacks.
There are questions about his production last year as well as where he will play with the Jets (either his preferred inside or if he will be outside).
Onwuasor joined the Ravens in 2016 as an undrafted rookie free agent. He has spent the entirety of his four years with the organization. According to Cimini, the Jets got the 27-year old on a one-year deal.
The linebacker adds even more depth and toughness to a defense that has a solid linebacker corps.
It remains to be seen how the Jets will utilize Onwuasor. Last year, he made the switch from inside linebacker to outside linebacker, a move that didn’t really align with his skillset or ability. Tough against the run, Onwuasor had some struggles in pass defense as required by playing outside.
The move to bring on board Onwuasor might help Mosley, who made three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances before signing with the Jets last offseason. Last year, Mosley was limited to just two games and nine tackles after suffering a groin injury early in the season.
In 2018, Mosley had 105 tackles for the Ravens in 15 games – all starts.