The veteran defender, he of a career-best 80 tackles last year, was another who stepped up his game when injuries struck the New York Jets.
One of the NFL’s ultimate journeymen is starting to establish a base with the New York Jets.
According to Dennis Waszak of the Associated Press, linebacker James Burgess is set to return to the team on a one-year deal. The Jets were Burgess’ sixth team over four NFL seasons.
Burgess entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville in 2016. He joined the Jets last spring and went on to have a strong preseason with 13 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown during an exhibition win in Atlanta. Burgess was left off the Week 1 roster, but was added to the team prior to their Week 8 game in Jacksonville.
PICK-SIX!!!!!@HomesteadLB takes it to the house! We lead 22-10 with 1:25 to go.#NYJvsATL | #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/JfjLFYP7Xv
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 16, 2019
Burgess came through when the Jets’ defense suffered injuries, namely those to starting linebackers Avery Williamson and C.J. Mosley. In just 10 games, Burgess earned a career-high 80 tackles. His best performance came in a December win over Miami, where he earned 12 tackles and a forced fumble. Burgess originally spent time in Dolphins camp in 2016 and later on their roster during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Other Burgess highlights include a credited safety in the first meeting with Miami in November, touching a fallen Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone. He also his first career interception against the Buffalo Bills in the Jets’ season finale.j
Burgess has earned 163 tackles, including 4.5 sacks, over three seasons of action. He has also spent time in the systems of Chargers, Ravens, Jaguars, and Browns.
The Jets have spent the past few days bringing back several of their incumbent linebackers on one-year deals. Neville Hewitt signed over the weekend, while Jordan Jenkins was reportedly welcomed back on a $5 million contract earlier on Monday.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags