Jets sign DL Quinton Jefferson, backup QB Tim Boyle

The New York Jets signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson on Thursday, helping fill one of the team’s biggest needs.

Jefferson had a career-high 5 1/2 sacks in 17 games, including three starts, last season. His signing helps offset the losses of Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd, both of whom signed elsewhere in free agency. Terms of the deal weren’t immediately disclosed.

The Jets also signed quarterback Tim Boyle to a one-year contract as a backup with experience playing in offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s system.

The 30-year-old Jefferson joins All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and defensive linemen John Franklin-Myers, Solomon Thomas, Carl Lawson, Jermaine Johnson, Micheal Clemons and Bryce Huff on the Jets’ D-line, which figures to be a strength again this season.

After losing Rankins and Shepherd, the Jets wanted to add a veteran defensive lineman and were interested in Calais Campbell and Fletcher Cox before they signed elsewhere.

Jefferson was a fifth-round draft pick of Seattle out of Maryland in 2016 and has had three stints with the Seahawks over five seasons, including last year. He also has played with the Los Angeles Rams (2017), Buffalo (2020) and Las Vegas (2021).

Jefferson has 20 1/2 sacks in 89 games, including 48 starts, during his seven NFL seasons. He also has 64 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 24 tackles for loss.

Boyle served as a backup in Green Bay for three seasons to Aaron Rodgers, who said last month his intention is to play for the Jets this season. The Packers and Jets have been in negotiations for several weeks to complete a trade that would send Rodgers to New York as the team’s starting quarterback.

In the meantime, Boyle joins a Jets quarterbacks room that includes Zach Wilson, who was the starter the past two seasons, and Chris Streveler, who spent most of last year on the practice squad. Boyle will also be reunited with former Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard, who signed a four-year deal with the Jets last month.

The 28-year-old Boyle split last season with Detroit and Chicago, and took 13 snaps in one game with the Bears during which he was 2 of 8 for 33 yards and two interceptions.

He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky in 2018 and appeared in 11 games, completing three of four passes for 15 yards with the Packers over three seasons as one of Rodgers’ backups. Hackett worked with Boyle as Green Bay’s offensive coordinator during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Boyle signed with the Lions as a free agent in 2021 and started three games in place of an injured Jared Goff. He was signed by Chicago last November off Detroit’s practice squad.

Boyle, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, began his college career at the University of Connecticut before transferring after three seasons to Eastern Kentucky. He has thrown for 574 yards and three touchdowns with eight interceptions in 17 career NFL games, including the three starts with Detroit.


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