NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Jets’ defensive line has taken a hit since free agency got under way at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Shortly after Gang Green released nose tackle Sione Po’uha, free-agent defensive tackle Mike DeVito signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs, according to multiple reports.
DeVito’s deal is said to be worth $12.6 million, with a $4.2 million signing bonus. The 28-year-old will reportedly take home a guaranteed base salary of $850,000 this coming season.
The University of Maine product was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007, and in six seasons he amassed 202 tackles, 2.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.
In 2012 the New York native played in all 16 games, recording 52 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack.
Po’uha was due to make $4.9 million in base salary this season, which would have become guaranteed if he remained on the roster Thursday. The move Tuesday, a few hours before the start of free agency, saved the Jets about $3.8 million on the salary cap.
The 34-year-old Po’uha missed four games last season while dealing with back troubles after signing a three-year, $15 million contract last offseason. He was New York’s third-round pick out of Utah in 2005. He has 263 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and a safety during his career. Po’uha became a full-time starter for the Jets in 2009, when he filled in for the injured Kris Jenkins, and then did so again the following season when Jenkins suffered yet another season-ending — and, it turned out, career-ending — knee injury.
Kenrick Ellis, the Jets’ third-round pick in 2011 who has also dealt with some injuries, is expected to replace Po’uha as the starter at nose tackle. Damon Harrison and Junior Aumavae are also on the roster and can play the position.
The Jets could be losing some other key pieces in the coming days.
Running back Shonn Greene, who has produced consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, is scheduled to visit the Titans on Wednesday, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Tight end Dustin Keller will meet with the division-rival Dolphins, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
How much trouble is the Jets’ defensive line in without DeVito and Po’uha? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…
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