NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets and linebacker James Burgess have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, agent Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated Press.
Burgess started the final 10 games of last season at inside linebacker for the Jets after injuries decimated the position.
The 26-year-old linebacker is a favorite of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who also coached him in Cleveland. Burgess finished second on the team to only Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams in total tackles with 90.
Burgess was signed to the practice squad after the season opener, when C.J. Mosley was injured and was promoted to the active roster in late October. He became a consistent playmaker and reliable tackler for the Jets, who also lost Avery Williamson to a season-ending injury in the preseason.
Burgess will be a valuable backup if Mosley and Williamson return healthy, but proved he can also start if needed. He had a half-sack, two quarterback hits, an interception, six passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
The former Louisville standout was signed by Miami as an undrafted free agent in 2016, when current Jets coach Adam Gase was in charge of the Dolphins. Burgess also spent time with the Chargers, Ravens, Jaguars and Browns before returning to the Dolphins in 2018. He was waived by Miami last May and claimed by New York.
The Jets didn't offer Burgess a restricted free agent tender, but decided to re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent a few days later.
New York also brought back another backup-turned-starter at linebacker last Friday, when they agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Neville Hewitt. Burgess and Hewitt ended up starting at inside linebacker together during the Jets' final seven games.
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