Hartsock, a sixth-year pro, signed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million and appears to figure prominently into the Jets' plans. He spent the last season with the Falcons and was recently released. The Jets were among more than a half dozen teams to show interest in him.
The 6-4, 264-pound Hartsock will be the Jets' second tight end behind starter Dustin Keller, who is primarily a receiver. The Jets had been using tackle Wayne Hunter as their second tight end and will likely continue to use him in that role at times, especially near the goal line.
Hartsock, a former third-round pick out of Ohio State by Indianapolis, spent his first two seasons with the Colts. He played two seasons with the Titans before playing in Atlanta last season. He has 27 catches for 273 yards and no touchdowns in five seasons.
Hartsock is a third tackle type at tight end. He's the solution as an in line blocker, but he's probably no better than a marginal upgrade over Hunter overall.
Ben's not much of a receiver. He is, however, more proven at the position than anything the Jets had, and at this point, the only thing that was going to be available in any likely scenario was a one-dimensional blocker like this.
The team could have kept a much better receiver in Chris Baker instead of signing Hartsock and had a virtual wash in terms of cap room.