In stark contrast to last year’s free agency period, this year the Jets only had one of their own players that they absolutely needed to re-sign, yesterday they did just that when they signed Sione Pouha to a three-year deal. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, According to Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News the deal is for $15 million over three-years with $9.5 million guaranteed, with a $3.5 million signing bonus which makes Pouha happy to be a, “Jet for life.”
“You know, first and foremost I’m ecstatic, I’m excited. This is something I’ve always wanted.” Pouha told reporters on a conference call yesterday, “I’m going to be a Jet for life. My overall reaction is that I’m so excited and pumped to continue on with the Jets, and be there and be a team player.”
It was widely assumed throughout the league that the Jets would make re-signing Pouha their number one priority of the offseason, but that doesn’t mean it was a stress free process for Pouha and his agents. “Every player that approaches the last year of his contract and enters the screen door of free agency, there’s always a possibility (of not re-signing).” Pouha said, “But in my mind I always wanted to stay with the Jets, be with the Jets. Me and my agents, they had an understanding that I always wanted to be with the Jets and I’m just glad it worked out that way.”
Pouha has taken the road less traveled to reach this point of his career, at a, “young 33,” this is his first big time contract as he was a bit of a late bloomer in this league, but bloom he did as he has developed into one of the best defensive tackles in the game. Pouha has grown into one of the best run stoppers in the league and if the Jets weren’t able to figure out a way to keep them, Rex Ryan and his staff would have been left scrambling to find ways to replace him.
“Yeah, I guess if you look at it statistically, by snap count or what have you, you could look at it that I’m a younger 33.” Pouha said, “I’d like to think I’m 23 and act like I’m 23. But yeah I do feel like I’m a young 33.”
With his first big contract signed and agreed upon, Pouha is looking forward to getting back on the football field with his teammates and doing whatever possible to move past the failure of last season and make this season a successful one.
“I’m just excited to be a member of the team from here on out, going forward, excited to get back in April banging the weights and hitting the turf and working with these guys.” Pouha said, “Other than the things that happened, I’m more excited for what’s going to happen this year.”
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