The Jets have signed New England linebacker Larry Izzo.
The border war between the Patriots and Jets is alive and thriving as the Jets have signed Patriots veteran special teams ace/linebacker Larry Izzo, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced.
Izzo does not contribute much as a linebacker. His value is primarily in special teams. He led the Pats in special teams tackles six times, was voted captain of the unit, and made three Pro Bowls because of his work. He is a high character guy, who just won a community service award and has three rings. In addition to the ways he will make Mike Westhoff happy, Izzo should be a good locker room influence.
He is clearly part of the equation to replace David Bowens. This signing replaces what Bowens brought to special teams. Now the Jets have to fill the roles of backup inside linebacker and situational pass rusher. Jason Trusnik is the internal leader to take the first role and Marques Murrell is for the second. The fact it will take three players to replace Bowens suggests the team may have been better off biting the bullet on the $2 million in savings and just kept Bowens.
Izzo joins the likes of Brad Smith and Wallace Wright as players whose only value is in their special teams play. Add in other standouts including but not limited to the likes Leon Washington and Jim Leonhard, and Mike Westhoff has a lot with which to work.