The Jets claimed former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Pennel off waivers, the team announced Tuesday.
Pennel, 25, has recorded one sack and 40 combined tackles in 37 games over the past three seasons with Green Bay. He recorded seven combined tackles in eight games last season.
Pennel was suspended four games last season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
This Jets clearly must have seen some intriguing potential in the 6-4, 332-pound Pennel, because otherwise he wouldn't seem to be worth the trouble. After starting five games with the Packers in 2015 his career took a bad turn in 2016 when he was suspended twice -- for the first four games and the last four games -- for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
When Pennel's second suspension was first announced in early December, the Packers said they would stand by him and seemed to be willing to offer him a third chance. One month later, they announced they were releasing him, so either they didn't mean it or something changed.
Interestingly, Pennel was suspended twice in college too -- both times during his junior year, right after he transferred from Scottsdale Community College to Arizona State. The first time was for an unspecified violation of team rules; the second time came when he went on a Twitter rant after he was benched where he claimed his coach "disrespected me on national television."
Regardless, he'll be on a short leash for sure as he attempts to make the Jets' roster. He's there for depth and because the Jets see the potential to get a promising young player (he's still only 25) for little money and little risk. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, it'll be easy to just let him go.