The Jets have released veteran linebacker Jason Babin, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The Western Michigan product was competing with Trevor Reilly and Lorenzo Mauldin to be Quinton Coples primary backup.
The 35-year-old signed a two-year, $3.25MM deal with the team last offseason. Cutting Babin will save the organization $1.5MM, with $125K in dead money.
A first-round pick in 2004, Babin has played with seven teams during his 12-year career. The two-time Pro Bowler made 16 appearances (four starts) with the Jets last season, compiling 25 tackles and two sacks. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) actually rated Babin as the third-most valuable defender on the Jets, and he was ranked as the league’s ninth-best 3-4 outside linebacker.
The veteran has experience in 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, meaning he’s not a one-trick pony. While his skills have certainly declined, it wouldn’t be a shock if Babin caught on with another squad. The linebacker certainly sounded confident about his skills when discussing his role with Darryl Slater of NJ.com.
“I don’t worry about what I don’t control,” he said. “But I am not at all concerned about my abilities to rush the passer or do any other things they need me to do. I can get the job done in a very effective way. So I’m not concerned, either way.”