The New York Jets have signed unrestricted free agent S Jim Leonhard.
(5-8/186/Wisconsin/Ladysmith, WI), a four-year veteran, joins the Jets after spending one season with the Baltimore Ravens. Signed by the Ravens as an unrestricted free agent in 2008, he played in all 16 games and made 13 starts for a defense that ranked second overall in the NFL. He finished fourth on the team with 85 tackles and added one sack, one interception and six passes defensed. On special teams he averaged 11.6 yards on 20 punt returns and 20.4 yards on eight kickoff returns. His 2008 totals represent career highs in starts, tackles and passes defensed, He recorded 16 tackles (third on the team) during the Ravens three post-season games in 2008, while adding 0.5 sacks, one interception, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Prior to signing with Baltimore in 2008, Leonhard played three seasons for the Buffalo Bills, earning action in 38 games while making seven starts. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Bills in 2005.
For his career, Leonhard has played in 54 games with 20 starts and recorded 144 tackles, one sack, three interceptions, nine passes defensed and 19 special teams tackles. Additionally, he has averaged 10.5 yards on 31 punt returns and 22.6 yards on 11 kickoff returns.
"I've liked Jim since his days at Wisconsin and was excited when we were able to bring him to Baltimore last season," said Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. "He was everything I expected him to be in 2008 when he bailed us out at safety after we had some injuries. He's a smart player that can get guys lined up in the secondary and was one of the best tacklers on that Ravens defense. He's always around the ball, brings everything he has on every play and will be a great addition to our group of defensive backs."