According to Josina Anderson, Falcons free agent safety Keanu Neal has two offers on the table, with one of those being the Jets.
Neal, a former teammate of current Jet Marcus Maye at Florida would make a lot of sense for the Jets. A former first-round pick, Neal has scheme flexibility in that he can line up at both safety positions as well as playing as a WLB which is mentioned in Josina’s tweet.
Neal is a well-rounded athlete and PFF rate him well in all areas of this game with a 68.2 overall grade, which includes a 74.3 pass-rush grade and a 66.2 coverage grade. In 2020 he had 100 tackles, 1 interception, 27 defensive stops and 1 sack.
However, his rating was brought down by how the Falcons used him, when used in the box and covering the slot his rating was 81.8, compared to 39.5 when lined up as a traditional free safety. Playing in and around the line suits his hard-hitting playstyle, and his ability to cover the slot and play the run game, which he excels at. Obviously, with Maye, we won’t be asking him to play as a free safety.
2020 was a nice comeback for Neal who missed significant time in 2018 and 2019 with a ton ACL and Achilles, which was devastating after he’d made the Pro Bowl in 2017. He looked well on his way to becoming a premier player at his position before the injuries and in 2020 he showed signs of his old self.
One healthy year in the books and Neal’s new team could get the best out of him. I imagine the Jets would be looking to use him in a hybrid role between safety and linebacker, and you’d back Saleh to get the absolute best out of him.
It would be a great signing for the Jets, so let's hope he chooses Gang Green.