Williamson’s injury left the Jets thin at linebacker, so this move makes some sense. McClellan spent the first nine seasons of his career with Baltimore, but was cut by the Ravens early on last season. He latched on with the Patriots and spent the last couple months of the year with New England, ultimately earning his second Super Bowl ring in the process.
McClellan has always been known as an elite special teamer, but he’s also capable of playing defense. He missed the entire 2017 campaign with an ACL tear, but he started 11 games in 2016. For his career, McClellan has appeared in 103 games and made 24 starts. He played almost exclusively on special teams for the Pats, making only four tackles in seven games.
McClellan certainly won’t be able to replace Williamson, who was supposed to be the Jets’ defensive signal-caller, by himself. But he is a decent cheap depth piece to add this late in the process, and can contribute in a pinch. That being said Williamson was Pro Football Focus’ No. 18 traditional linebacker last season, so this move doesn’t come close to making them whole.
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