Kendrick Lewis played last year in Houston, so there is already a familiarity with new Jets GM Mike Maccagnan. He finished the season with 84 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and 6 pass defences. What I saw from Lewis last year made me believe he's finally over a shoulder injury he suffered in 2012 that required surgery.
A 5th round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010, Lewis started 26 games his first two years in the league and in 2011 it looked as though he was quickly becoming one of the most prominent young safeties out there. 60 tackles, 10 pass defenses, 3 interceptions and a forced fumble.
Unfortunately in 2012 he suffered a shoulder injury which forced him to miss 7 games, when he returned from shoulder surgery, he looked tentative. In 2013 he was disappointing to say the least, his coverage ability fell off a cliff and he was never all that good playing the run in the first place.
However after a change of scenery, landing in Houston, he started to look like the player of old. He looked faster, he looked stronger and he wasn't afraid of a little contact. He finished the season with his best year since 2011 and now hits the open market as a UFA. There are considerable risks with signing him, however he is far better than anything we have on the roster at that position, allowing Pryor to move to the strong safety position.
He gave up a lot of long plays in 2013, but the Chiefs as a whole gave up big play after big play. However he really made strides in 2014 and looked as good as he ever has. I went over to the Houston Texans blog to check out what they thought about Lewis and here are just a few comments about the need to re-sign him.
Kendrick Lewis this is the more important safety re-sign, he's played well this year, another around the $1m mark would be great
FS Kendrick Lewis: quality starter. If they don’t re-sign him they’ll have to figure out another free safety.
Kareem, and Lewis are good players that I would like to have back next year
He won't be all that expensive, but you can't have stars at every single position. Lewis is 26 years old and you'll get him for a very reasonable price. I hope the Jets kick the tires on this one.