Jets will regret not bringing back Leonhard. Between Landry and Bell, someone is getting injured.
Let's just hope Belichick doesn't sign him.
so the solution to our safeties' injury woes is to bring back a safety who's had MAJOR leg injuries in back-to-back seasons?
i like Leonhard for his hustle, heart, and leadership. but let's not forget that he was below average, at best, last year. he's not the player he was in 2009 and 2010 before the injuries, and i don't think he'll be any better after a busted knee.
Free-agent safety Jim Leonhard, a Rex Ryan favorite who galvanized the New York Jets' secondary for three seasons, won't be back with the team.
After revamping the safety position in the offseason, the Jets have decided not to re-sign Leonhard, according to league sources.
Leonhard, 29, is recovering from major knee surgery, but still hopes to play this season. The injury occurred last Dec. 11 -- a torn patellar tendon -- a devastating blow for a player in the final year of his contract.
As much as they admire Leonhard, the Jets signed two free agents, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, formerly of the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, respectively. They retained veteran Eric Smith and drafted two safeties, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen, making Leonhard expendable. Even so, there was speculation that he'd back.
Leonhard could return if there's an injury at safety, but the Jets' plan is to move ahead without the popular defender, who called the signals for Ryan's secondary.
"Hopefully, in the next few weeks, I get some workouts and get a contract," Leonhard recently told a TV station in his native Wisconsin. "The knee is feeling great and I'm ready to go. I'm getting antsy. Football is around the corner and I don't have a team ... I know I'm going to be playing football somewhere this season. I just have to figure out where."
Leonhard finished the last two seasons on injured reserve, so there are questions about his durability. In December, 2010, he suffered a horrific broken leg in practice, requiring surgery. He made a comeback, started 13 games last season and finished fifth on the team in tackles.
With Leonhard out of the lineup, there was a noticeable drop off in the Jets' secondary play.
This was never breaking news that Leonhard wouldn't be back. When a team gives a veteran player number away and it safe to assume the team has no interest in bringing him back. Jets went out and added a lot of safeties and I guess they wanted a change at that position.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jim Leonhard came out of nowhere, just like the New York Jets. He chased down Jason Witten and wrestled him out of bounds, saving a touchdown and giving his team a chance to pull off one of the most improbable comeback victories in franchise history.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis said of Leonhard: “He’s our quarterback out there. He’s the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady of our defense. When he got hurt, I know I felt like we were going to have a problem back there.”
Instead of sulking about not playing in his third consecutive conference championship, Leonhard’s been a fixture at the facility: watching film, going to meetings and dropping bits of knowledge on his teammates
And last year, thanks to Leonhard, the run lasted pretty long. In the wild-card win over the Bengals, he had a sack and a forced fumble. In the divisional victory against the Chargers, he picked off Philip Rivers and made six tackles.
Nevertheless, Leonhard remains useful. He watches tape and speaks to the safeties and defensive coaches, dispensing details that might benefit his crew.
"I love these guys," he said. "This is my team."
"He comes by every now and then and talks to us," safety Brodney Pool said. "This week especially."
Last edited by JetsNeedNewton; 07-21-2012 at 11:07 AM.
Home Ľ Ravens Ľ Could Jim Leonhard Return To Baltimore?
Nov 13, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jim Leonhard (36) before the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Former Baltimore Ravensí safety Jim Leonhard joined Rex Ryan the New York Jets in 2008. This past season, Leonhard after tore the patellar tendon in his knee and required major, season-ending knee surgery. Now, the Jets have announced that they will not re-sign Leonhard after three seasons in New York.
Although the Ravens currently have some good decent depth at safety, would it be ridiculous for them to consider signing Jim Leonhard? Though not a necessity at the moment, Jim Leonhard could be a solid pickup for the Ravens. While his knee injury is a cause for concern, Leonhard has showed over the past few seasons that he is a reliable and consistent player that can help a teamís secondary. I could see Leonhard play a significant role with the Ravens as a backup and on special teams. He has experience with the Ravens as he started 13 games in 2008, and could probably be acquired for fairly cheap.