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Report: Mike Catapano to Become Full-Time Linebacker

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Cimini says the Jets are making Mike Catapano a full-time linebacker.

From what I hear, the Jets are giving Mike Catapano a chance to become a full-time linebacker. He has dropped weight since the end of the season (he's in the 260s), which should help with the transition. A few years ago, he was a 290-pound defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Catapano played in three games for the Jets last season after being called up from the practice squad in November. In his 52 snaps, he was fairly effective as a pass rusher in this limited playing time before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury. The Jets also have a need at linebacker. Lorenzo Mauldin is slated to take on a bigger role, but things do not look pretty even if we assume the unproven Mauldin can step up. Freddie Bishop III will be making the leap from the CFL. Who do the Jets have after that? Trevor Reilly?

With that said, I am not sure how much can reasonably be expected out of Catapano. Position transitions are seldom easy and never a sure thing. If he turned into a good situational player, it would be a major win. This move might be more emblematic of how unlikely it was Catapano would make the team as an interior lineman than anything else. Now he has a chance to make the Jets at a position where they need help.