The New York Jets are looking to add some more depth at the outside linebacker position, as it was recently reported that the Jets worked out former Cleveland Browns special teams captain Quentin Groves, who is an experienced depth OLB. Now, the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reports that the Jets also worked out 34-year-old pass rusher Jason Babin on Monday, and they are clearly gauging the edge rusher market.
Babin was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in mid-June in an unsurprising move, as the team’s defensive line was starting to get crowded. Previously, David Caldwell surprisingly re-signed Babin, but that also gave some clarity to Babin’s decision to void the final two years of his contract. He’s well past his prime, but he could still be a useful piece off the bench as a situational pass rusher for the Jets, and he’s at least worth kicking the tires on along with Groves. While Groves qualifies as a “solid” addition as a backup, Babin, as Jones states, would be an “intriguing” option given his upside if he were to bounce back and show something in the tank.
The issue is that Babin might not be fast enough anymore to fit as a 3-4 OLB, and I doubt he would fit in as a 3-4 DE. The Jets could play him as a DE in 4-3 looks, though, but he hasn’t been successful outside of Jim Washburn’s Wide 9. A penalty magnet, Babin was once one of the most consistent, disruptive pass rushers in the league, and there’s a possibility a genius defensive mind like Rex Ryan could bring the best out of the vet, who would need to make the most out of any opportunity he gets.