Eric Mangini continues to reassemble one of the most disappointing teams of 2008 in Cleveland. His Browns signed another Jet, linebacker David Bowens.
Bowens, who enjoyed playing for former Jets coach Eric Mangini the past two seasons, picked the Browns over the Jets, who wanted him to return at a reduced rate. The Jets released him last month, saving $2 million under the cap.
Last season, Bowens, a 10-year veteran, had 40 tackles, four sacks and one interception in 16 games, five starts.
Getting rid of Bowens seems penny wise and pound foolish in retrospect. When it looked like the team was going to scrap to clear marginal space, it was defensible. When the team decided to make drastic cuts in cap space by making cuts such as Laveranues Coles, it makes less sense. Bowens did not end up standing between the Jets and any key player they coveted. He was a versatile backup, capable of playing the run reasonably well on the inside, doing a solid job as an edge rusher on passing downs, and contributing as a superb blocker on return teams.
Marques Murrell is the most likely internal candidate to take some of David's roles. Murrell came on as a special teams contributor near the end of the season, an area in which Bowens will be missed. Marques did not see the field much at all on defense, but he earned an NFL job through his work as a defensive end at Appalachian State. Perhaps Rex Ryan thinks he can develop Murrell as a situational pass rusher. For Bowens' role as a backup inside linebacker, Jason Trusnik might be the guy. The Jets might believe his big Week 17 in Miami was a coming out party for a hard worker in practice.