Jets sign linebacker Antwan Barnes, re-sign Purdum

Antwan Barnes had 11 sacks two years ago. Credit: Getty Images
Antwan Barnes had 11 sacks two years ago for the Chargers.
Credit: Getty Images

With little room to maneuver under the salary cap, the Jets and general manager John Idzik continued an offseason of quiet moves with the re-signing of long snapper Tanner Purdum. Also on Monday, the Jets have lined up for a deal with free agent outside linebacker Antwan Barnes if the player’s Twitter account is to be believed.

Barnes played under current Jets head coach Rex Ryan during his first two years in the league from 2007-08 when Ryan was the defensive coordinator of the Ravens. After three years in Baltimore, Barnes moved to Philadelphia for one year and has spent the last three seasons with the Chargers.

The deal for Barnes was made official Monday evening, but not before a slight delay captured on Twitter.

Early on Monday afternoon, Barnes tweeted a thank you that included Ryan, Idzik and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman: “Green and white it is…just want to thank coach rex coach DT and mr idzilk for the opportunity..and to the fans I won’t let u down.”

After his tweet announcing a deal, an hour later Barnes tweeted, “Wait a minute…not official yet…in talks now…#letsgetadealdone.”

In seven NFL seasons, Barnes has been primarily a role player with just five NFL starts. His best season came in 2011 when for the first time in his NFL career he played in all 16 games and had 41 tackles and 11 sacks. In 11 games last year, his form dipped as he had just nine tackles and three sacks. He is expected to help fill the production of the recently released Calvin Pace, as well as Bryan Thomas, who will not be re-signed.

One deal officially done was the signing of Purdum, who has spent all three of his NFL seasons with the Jets. Purdum has been a steady long snapper for the team and has good chemistry with kicker Nick Folk, who the Jets inked to a one-year deal on Saturday.

Metro New York has learned the Jets will have a private workout with Michigan defensive lineman William Campbell. Projected as a late-round pick or a potential undrafted free agent, Campbell is seen as a potential ideal fit at nose tackle due to his 6-foot-5, 311-pound frame

His most impressive game came in his Big Ten finale at Ohio State when he registered 10 tackles.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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