The Jets got far more than they expected out of linebacker Demario Davis last season, but it wasn't enough to convince them to give him a lucrative, long-term deal.
So they're going to sign former Titans linebacker Avery Williamson instead.
He is one of the now many free agents expected to sign with the Jets when the market officially opens on Wednesday, an NFL source confirmed on Tuesday night. The 6-1, 246-pounder was one of the top inside linebackers in free agency, and figures to inherit Davis' old starting job next to Darron Lee.
Williamson is only 26, three years younger than Davis, which was important to the Jets as they add players in free agency. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has made it clear that his rebuilding project is a youth movement. He wants young players with fresh legs who can help the team for years to come.
Davis, 29, was a big help last season as he emerged as a solid performer and a team leader. He joined the Jets in the summer when they acquired him from the Cleveland Browns for safety Calvin Pryor. At the time, it wasn't even a certainty that Davis would make the roster on Opening Day.
But he did and led the Jets in both tackles (135) and sacks (five). Off that performance he was reportedly looking for a deal worth $8-10 million per season, but a source said the Jets were looking to sign him to a short-term deal in the $4 million per year range.
Instead they turned to Williamson, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $12 million contract offer to remain with the Tennesse Titans a few days ago. The terms of his deal with the Jets were not immediately available.
Williamson, a fifth-round pick out of Kentucky in 2015, missed only one game in his four seasons in Tennessee and started 59 of a possible 63 games. He had more than 90 tackles in each of the last three seasons and has 11 ½ sacks in his career.