The Jets have signed veteran safety Artrell Hawkins to add depth to the roster, a likely sign of a few things.
- Don’t expect the Jets to do much to keep Erik Coleman around. Coleman was buried on the depth chart in 2007, playing less and less as the season went along.
- It leaves room for some youngsters like Eric Smith or Abram Elam to solidify their spot, but provides a backup plan should they not make the progress for which the team hopes.
Hawkins was a second-round pick in 1998 for the Cincinnati Bengals and was out of the league in 2007, after being released by the Patriots during summer cuts. Past his prime, Hawkins started in the league as a corner, but has lost speed and was converted to a safety later in his career. Too small to be a true every down safety at 5’10” 195 pounds, Hawkins is willing in run support and plays well in deep coverage, even though he can be a step slow.
Eric Smith showed promise in pass defense, run support and even blitzing as the season wore on, I’d expect Smith to be the opening day starter come September.