MARCH 21, 2:45pm: The Jets have officially signed McLendon, the team announced today via its official website.
MARCH 16, 11:29am: The Jets’ deal with McLendon is a three-year pact worth up to $12MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds that it features $4MM in guaranteed money. Terms of the deal were first reported by Dom Cosentino of NJ.com.
MARCH 15, 6:18pm: The Jets will sign nose tackle Steve McLendon, as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. McLendon will help fill the void left by Damon Harrison when he signed a five-year deal with the Giants.
The Steelers liked McLendon and wanted to retain him, but they were reportedly resistant to paying big money to a player who only sees the field for about 25-30% of the club’s defensive snaps. Pittsburgh could now enhance Dan McCullers‘ role with McLendon heading to New Jersey. Up until now, McLendon had spent his entire six-year career in Pittsburgh.
In 2015, the 6’4″ interior lineman saw time in all of Pittsburgh’s 16 regular season games and made 10 starts. In that time, McLendon tallied 14 tackles and 1 sack. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated McLendon as the No. 91 interior lineman in the NFL last year out of 123 qualified players. He did, however, earn a decent 74.8 grade for his run defense, which put him in the 50s. Harrison, meanwhile, was Pro Football Focus’ top ranked run defender in 2015.
Pro Football Rumors had McLendon ranked as the No. 15 interior defensive lineman in this year’s free agent crop, putting him ahead of players like Kevin Williams, Al Woods, Ahtyba Rubin, Randy Starks, and Henry Melton.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.