MARCH 18th, 12:16pm: The Jets announced that the signing is official, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter).
MARCH 12th, 10:23pm: The Jets are not done adding to their secondary, as they are finalizing a four-year deal with former Chargers safety Marcus Gilchrist, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
Gilchrist was drafted by San Diego in the second round of the 2011 draft, and he started all 16 games for the club in each of the past two seasons. He fared poorly according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) in 2014, ranking 72nd out of 87 eligible safeties. However, he graded out much better in 2013, finishing as the 20th-best safety out of 88. He has tallied five interceptions in his four-year career, so he has not been much of a playmaker despite his strong tackling abilities and mentally-sound play.
But he does further bolster a unit that has already been rejuvenated with the recent additions of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie,and Buster Skrine. As Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork tweets, Gilchrist’s versatility is especially appealing to the Jets. Gilchrist played 401 snaps in the slot, 306 snaps at strong safety, and 201 snaps at free safety last season, and he and Calvin Pryor will team up to create a fairly strong pair of interchangeable safeties. Of course, the secondary as a whole has been transformed from an embarrassingly undermanned group to perhaps the best set of defensive backs in the league in just a couple of days.