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NEW YORK JETS RE-HIRE NOSE TACKLE SIONE POUHA
Wed, 14 Mar 2012 05:20 PM EDT

It is rather premature to tell whether the New York Jets’ circus has left town, but Sione Pouha has not.

Instead of becoming a independent agent for the 1st time in his career, the vet nose tackle decided to re-sign with the team known last season for its locker-room chaos. NFL spreads

On the brink of free agency, Pouha confirmed a 3-year deal to remain with the Jets. Financial details weren’t right away accessible.

“I have the highest admiration for every single guy in that locker room,” Pouha related on a phone meeting, adding, “I’m excited to get back and start banging the weights and hitting the turf and working out with these blokes. Apart from the things which occurred, I am more thrilled for what’s going to occur this year.”

The Jets identified Pouha as a “priority” independent agent, and they accomplished their target of keeping him off the market. They took a bet by not using the franchise tag on him ($7.9 million), but they were assured they’d achieve a long-term agreement.

“This is something I always desired,” he claimed. “I’ll be a Jet forever.”

In a span of 4 days, the New York Jets locked up two of their 6 captains from last season Sione Pouha and quarterback Mark Sanchez, who received a 3-year, $40 million extension last Friday. NFL lines

Sanchez’s contact has created a firestorm, with some media types interrogating whether he earned it after a lackluster season, but Pouha backed his quarterback. He revealed it was “well-deserved.”

“I was excited for him when I heard he was going to get that extension,” Pouha declared. “And I was far more thrilled when I found out I’d be playing with him for the subsequent 3 years.”

Pouha, 33 year-old, a 3-year starter, isn’t a dynamic pass rusher, but he’s thought of as one of the better run-stuffers in the league. He recorded 58 tackles last season, most on the team among the linemen, even though he only played essentially on 1st and 2nd down. He also made a sack, one forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries.

The long term contract is a little bit dangerous because of his age, but Pouha got a late start in the NFL and hasn’t accumulated as much wear and tear as other interior linemen. He called himself a “young 33.”

He played in 60 % of the defensive snaps last season. Because he served a religious mission while in school, he didn’t get to the league till he was 26. He was a 3rd-round pick of the Jets in 2005.

It was crucial to keep Pouha because his backup, 2nd-year nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, isn’t prepared to step into a full time role. Ellis, a 3rd-round pick from Hampton (Va.), appeared in only 5 games last season and made little effect.

Pouha is also a positive locker-room presence. That, no doubt, factored into his value, taking into account the Jets’ well-documented dissension.

The Jets still have 10 unrestricted free agents, but they’re not predicted to re-sign any before the start of free agency. The team contains safeties Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool, linebacker Bryan Thomas and quarterback Mark Brunell.


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