Rumor: New York Jets Chasing Antwan Barnes

SAN DIEGO CA - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by linebacker Antwan Barnes #98 of the San Diego Chargers in the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16 2010 in San Diego California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

It's that time of night for a Florio rumor. He says the Jets and Chargers are bidding for Antwan Barnes.

Veteran linebacker Antwan Barnes, an unrestricted free agent, spent 2010 with the Chargers.  If the Chargers have their way, he’ll spend 2011 there, too.

But the Jets have other ideas.  Per a league source, both teams are pursuing Barnes.

We talked a bit about him in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but it came from Pro Football Focus. Barnes played for two seasons with Rex Ryan in Baltimore. He came into his own as a pass rushing specialist in 2010 with San Diego. He impacted the quarterback with either a pressure, hit, or sack on one of every five times rushing the passes, a really, really big number. Since he was not a three down player, he would be somewhat cheap, but he could really bolster the pass rush.

Normally it comes down to purely money, but this could be a case where all of that talk about guys loving Rex Ryan makes a real difference since most things could be equal.

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