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Jets sign LB Albert McClellan

Albert McClellan, Jets

On Thursday, the New York Jets lost Avery Williamson for the season in their preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. To replace him, New York has signed veteran linebacker Albert McClellan according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Before joining the Jets, McClellan spent seven seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. McClellan spent some time with the New England Patriots after Baltimore cut him in 2018.

Earlier this offseason, the Jets signed C.J. Mosley to a lucrative contract to pair him with Williamson. Williamson led the team in tackles with 120 of them in 2018. An injury to Williamson leaves a void in the middle of the defense.

During his tenure with the Ravens, McClellan actually spent some time playing alongside Mosley. The veteran linebacker started in 24 games in Baltimore but could see some playing time in New York.

With the Jets playing a similar defense as the Ravens do, McClellan should need minimal time to get adjusted to the defense. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will likely use the preseason to determine who will be the starting inside linebacker beside Mosley.

Currently, Neville Hewitt and rookie Blake Cashman are the frontrunners to win the starting job. Hewitt is entering his second season with the Jets after starting in four games in 2018.

As for Cashman, New York drafted him in the fifth round of this year’s draft out of Minnesota. In his last season at Minnesota, Cashman had 104 combined tackles at inside linebacker.

The unfortunate injury to Williamson provides a question mark on the Jets defense and they will need someone to step up in his absence this season.