FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Muhammad Wilkerson signed, now Darron Lee has finally signed and now all we have to wait on is to see if the Jets sign Ryan Fitzpatrick or they just ride with Geno Smith. But at least they have their first-round linebacker locked up for the next four years with a team-option on year five.
With the way rookie contracts are structured there isn't really any wiggle room to negotiate on the overall money of the contract, salaries are slotted by draft position, the only real wiggle room is in the amount of guaranteed money. The Jets and Lee's camp were negotiating on how much of his fourth-year salary would be guaranteed but clearly the two sides found a middle ground that worked for both sides.
The Jets have an incredibly deep linebacking core this year and David Harris and Erin Henderson will be the starting inside linebackers when the Jets are in their 3-4 defense but Todd Bowles likes to employ a lot of Nickel and Lee is slotted to start in those Nickel packages.
The Jets will look to utilize Lee's speed and pass coverage ability to defend against strong air attacks, particularly against tight ends and receiving running backs. Lee has already been impressing his coaches and teammates, they rave about his athletic ability, football IQ as well as the type of person he is and now that the contract is signed he can start to share those traits with Jets fans as they watch him grow.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com)