Jets sign kick returner Michael Bates

The Jets signed former Carolina Panther and Washington Redskin kick returner Micheal Bates, and released Albert Johnson.

Bates is one of the best special teamers of the modern era. He made the Pro Bowl from 1996 to 2000. He led the league in kickoff return average in 1996 and 1997. He returned two kicks for touchdowns in 1999, and five in his career.

The Jets wanted a more disciplined returner and feel they signed one in Bates. They also wanted a returner who could cover kicks and Bates can do that. Johnson is not a factor in kick coverage.

He is 34, but still has very good speed.


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