The Jets announced the signing of free agent linebackers Marvin Jones and Sam Cowart to multi-year contracts. Terms of the agreements were undisclosed. The Jets released Jones, 29, on February 26, 2002.
"Marvin has had a tremendous career to this date and we feel very confident he'll continue to play at a high level for us," Terry Bradway said. "He was very productive for us last season and we would like to see Marvin end his career as a Jet.
Cowart, 27, comes to the Jets after having played his first five NFL seasons for the AFC-East rival Buffalo Bills. The 6-2, 245-pound Cowart has amassed 487 tackles in only 45 professional games and earned a Pro Bowl selection after the 2000 season. Cowart led the Bills in tackles in 1999 (186) and in 2000 with 181 despite playing only 12 games. He missed the final four games of the 2000 campaign with an ankle injury and was lost for the 2001 season in the Bills' opener with an Achilles injury.
"Sam is a Pro Bowl player who will help in terms of his size, speed, athletic ability and quickness," Bradway said. "He is an excellent tackler and he brings a lot of speed to our defense. Sam is a very physical, explosive linebacker."
The Bills selected Cowart in the second-round of the 1998 draft with the 39th overall pick.
"I feel very fortunate the Jets showed so much interest in me," Cowart said. "Obviously, coming off an injury like I did - some teams stayed away from me. The Jets believed in me. I cannot wait to play for Ted Cottrell again and hope I can pick up where I left off back in 2000."
Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said, "I am overjoyed. Marvin has been an excellent player for the Jets and a great leader. Sam is a tackling machine who is great in coverage - a guy who never comes off the field and a guy I never dreamed we could get."