Antwan Barnes close to deal with New York Jets?


Antwan Barnes's Twitter feed indicates a deal with the Jets may be imminent.

The New York Jets and free agent linebacker Antwan Barnes may be close to a deal. Barnes tweeted Monday that he would be signing with New York, but he later backed off that tweet.

If the Jets can get a deal done with Barnes, the team should have a solid addition to its linebacker corps. Barnes visited with New York last week, and Scott Salmon at Gang Green Nation has been high on signing the former San Diego Charger:

Barnes would be, in my opinion, a great signing by the Jets. Along with Victor Butler, he'd be one of my favorite signings of free agency. Barnes began his career with Rex Ryan with the Baltimore Ravens, and is a pass-rushing specialist. He's been a backup so far, but he would likely be a starter with us.

Barnes spent the last four seasons in San Diego, and in 2012, he was limited to 11 games due to a hamstring injury. He finished the year with just nine tackles three sacks and two tackles for loss. However, Barnes played all 16 games in 2011, compiling 41 tackles and 11 sacks. Before his time with the Chargers, he played one season with the Philadelphia Eagles and three seasons with the Ravens. Over the course of his career, Barnes has 112 tackles, 23.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

The Jets have also reportedly been interested in another free agent linebacker, Victor Butler, and because of the team's lack of talent and experience at the position, a potential Barnes signing wouldn't take Butler off the table, according to Joe Caporoso of Turn on the Jets.

After being selected in the fourth round of the 2009 Draft, Butler has spent his entire four-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, playing in all but one game. He has compiled 89 tackles, 11 sacks and two tackles for loss during his time in Dallas.

The Jets ranked 26th in the NFL against the run in 2012, giving up and average of 133.6 yards per game. Making big upgrades at linebacker can only help those numbers.

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