The New York Jets finally addressed a significant need, signing veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander to a one-year deal. The soon-to-be 28-year-old Alexander gives the Jets much-needed depth. New York first worked out Alexander in April.
Head coach Robert Saleh knows Alexander from his time in San Francisco, where the former LSU Tiger spent 2019 and part of 2020. The 6-foot-1, 227-pound Oxford, Alabama, native started his career with the Tampa Buccaneers and played the last two seasons in New Orleans. Alexander has amassed 521 tackles in his seven-year career, highlighted by a career-high 145 tackles in 2016.
But Alexander also comes to New York with a lengthy injury history.
In 2017 he missed four games with a hamstring injury. In 2018 he played in just six games due to a season-ending ACL injury. After signing a four-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week nine but returned for the playoffs. After being traded to the New Orleans Saints in 2020, he started seven games before tearing his Achilles in Week 16. Last season he missed four games with an elbow injury.
Alexander comes to the Jets not as a savior but as a solid value signing at a position of need. The seven-year vet has not played more than 12 games in any season since 2016, the only season he played all 16 games. As a rookie in 2015, he missed the final four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The Jets’ new linebacker has not been able to duplicate his 2016 season. In his last two seasons, where he played 12 games each year, he has totaled 107 tackles. Signing Alexander is a low-risk move for general manager Joe Douglas, but fans should temper their expectations. Alexander is not 1985 Mike Singletary; he’s not even 2016 Alexander. While he is an upgrade over what the Jets currently have on their roster expecting the player Alexander was in 2016 and 2017 to show up at MetLife in 2022 would be foolish.