Jets to sign Antwan Barnes?
Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes announced on Twitter he had agreed to a contract with the rebuilding New York Jets, who continue to shop for bargain free agents.
He might have tweeted too soon, however, as he posted shortly afterward that he remains in talks with the team.
"Wait a minute...not official yet...in talks now," he wrote.
Barnes, who visited with the Jets last week, earlier made the announcement that he had agreed to a deal on his Twitter account, saying: "Green and White, it is." He thanked the team's brain trust, adding, "To the fans, I won't let you down."
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He would become the second former Chargers player the Jets have added this offseason. Last week, the team signed defensive tackle Antonio Garay.
Barnes would be reunited with Rex Ryan, his defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens in 2007 and 2008. Coordinator Dennis Thurman also is a former Ravens assistant who has worked with Barnes. The Jets have tried to sign him in the past.
Even though he has been a pass-rushing specialist his entire career, Barnes, 28, would have the opportunity to start with the Jets.
The roster is bereft of outside linebackers after the recent release of Calvin Pace, who started for five seasons. The other starter, free agent Bryan Thomas, won't be re-signed. Barnes' competition is Garrett McIntyre and Ricky Sapp.
The Jets would be Barnes' fourth team in seven years. He has 23.5 career sacks, including 11 in 2011 for the Chargers. Curiously, his production took a big dip last season, as he managed only three sacks in 11 games.
The Jets' sack production has declined in each of the four seasons under Ryan, and they need a pass-rushing presence on the edge.
Barnes once sacked Joe Flacco four times in a game. He also had a two-sack game against Tom Brady, which no doubt appealed to Ryan.
The Jets needed to do something to help their eighth-ranked defense, which lost three starters in free agency -- tackle Mike DeVito and safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell.
Conversely, the Jets have signed two defensive free agents, Barnes and Garay. On offense, they added quarterback David Garrard, running back Mike Goodson and guard Willie Colon.