The Jets have signed Nose Tackle Antonio Garay, formerly of the San Diego Chargers, to their roster per Connor Orr of the Star-Ledger and several other sources, confirmed by Adam Schefter. If you recognize Garay at all it's likely because of his eccentric hair coloring/styling or perhaps his choice of a Hello Kitty! smart car as his personal vehicle. Garay was briefly a member of the Jets in 2009 before moving on to San Diego, but he didn't have any significant contribution here his first time as he was a member of the practice squad.
The 33 year old, 6-foot-4, 320 lb NT only played in 8 games for the Chargers in 2012 and amassed 16 combined tackles and 1 sack. Over 10 years playing 56 games for the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and San Diego Chargers, Garay has pulled down 138 combined tackles and 9 sacks. A point of attack for defense, Nose Tackles in the NFL often have understated or limited statistical production. Garay has had an especially quiet career in terms of building sexy stats that Jets fans crave, but he brings a desperately needed veteran presence and depth at the Defensive Tackle position following the release of Sione Pouha and the loss of Mike DeVito to the Kansas City Chiefs, and the uncertain progress of Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison.
According to his bio; Garay is a native of Rahway, NJ and he played football for Boston College. He is a mix of Costa Rican, Puerto Rican, and Jamaican, and he is half-Jewish and half-Catholic. He was also a state and national wrestling champion at his weight class of 275 lb in 1998. This may or may not lend inspiration to his image being similar to that of a pro wrestler.
The signing of Antonio Garay follows what appears to be John Idzik's game plan for the 2013 offseason, sign cheaper prospects with potential to fill in the Jets many holes. In the words of SBN's Kevin Nogle, it is a "smart, if un-sexy" move. It may not seem like much of a move but it's the only sort of option the Jets can afford in this period of De-Tannenbaumization. Today the Jets quietly plugged up holes in multiple positions on the roster with the signings of Mike Goodson, Willie Colon, and now Antonio Garay to presumably reasonable low-priced deals. This frugal spending is the Jets only road to recovery.
Contract details will be updated when available.