On Friday, the New York Jets signed former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Willie Colon to a one -year deal worth $1.2 million.
The 325 pound lineman appeared in just one game in the span of two seasons (2010 and 2011) due to a torn Achilles tendon and missed five games last year after undergoing season-ending knee surgery.
The Steelers selected Colon in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL draft out of Hofstra University. The Bronx native started in all 62 career games in the Steel City.
Colon was a member of the Super Bowl XLIII champion Steelers, who defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. During the summer of 2011 the Steelers signed Colon to a 5-year, $29 million deal, but the offensive lineman was hobbled by knee and back issues and struggled to stay in the starting lineup. This week the Steelers released Colon and the Jets seized the opportunity to add the talented, yet injury plagued seven-year veteran.
The former Hofstra University standout played both the tackle and guard position for Pittsburgh and brings versatility to a Jets offensive line that could lose both guards Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore to free agency.
New York’s offensive front was one of the biggest contributing factors to its downfall last season. The Jets’ running game struggled to produce big plays and quarterback Mark Sanchez faced constant pressure and turned the ball over at an alarming rate.
Gang Green’s offense took a major hit this week when Sanchez’s favorite target Dustin Keller signed with the Miami Dolphins and starting running back Shonn Greene signed with the Tennessee Titans.
In an attempt to revamp the offense, general manager John Idzik signed former Oakland Raiders backup running back Mike Goodson along with Colon on Friday.
Goodson rushed for 6.3 yards per carry during the 2012 campaign. He finished the season in Oakland with 221 yards rushing on 35 carries.
The defense is also looking to reload after the departure of several key players. The Jets signed former San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Antonio Garay to a on- year deal on Friday. The defense has already lost Mike Devito, Yeremiah Bell, and LaRon Landry to free agency and released Sione Pou’ha earlier in the week.
The Jets have salary cap issues and can’t afford to sign the big names. Santonio Holmes agreed to restructure his contract to free up salary cap space. The Green and White lost a few fan favorite players this week, but Idzik has been busy in attempt to replace them. With free agency in full swing and the NFL Draft a month away, the Jets will have a bevy of new faces from far away places playing at MetLife stadium next season.