Jets sign former 49er Ronald Blair to add depth to the defensive line

Robert Saleh is bringing in a familiar face.

The Jets announced the signing of former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ronald Blair on Tuesday.

The 6-4, 270-pounder played for the new Jets head coach with the 49ers the last four seasons after being a fifth round pick by the club in the 2016 draft out of Appalachian St. He was the Sun Belt conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.

In 47 games, including two starts in 2017, Blair’s career numbers are 13.5 sacks, 88 total tackles and 22 tackles for loss.

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“If you like winning, you like Ronnie Blair,” Saleh said in 2019, per the AP. “If you don’t like winning, you don’t like him. I love him to death. He can do no wrong in my book. He’s got great versatility. He’ll play nickel if you ask him to, and he’ll know what to do and he’ll execute.”

The Jets are adding rotational depth for their defensive line, but Blair’s ability to stay healthy is a concern.

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Blair, 28, missed the entire 2020 season. He tore his ACL in Week 10 of the 2019 season against the Seattle Seahawks. He spent 2020 on the physically unable to perform list because the recovery process didn’t go as well as expected which led to a second surgery in October.

Blair’s best season was in 2018 where he had 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. If the Jets can get that production, then this move would be another boost to the talented defensive line.

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Right tackle Morgan Moses visited the Jets last week, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Moses, who was set to make $7.75 million in 2021, was released by the Washington Football Team on May 20. He made 97 starts in his seven seasons in Washington.

The team has George Fant at right tackle, but Moses would be an upgrade. Pro Football Focus rated Moses as the 18th best tackle with a grade of 79.9. He also had a run blocking grade of 84.7, which was seventh best.

We’ll see if the Jets can get a deal done. This would be a massive boost to the offensive line. An O-line featuring Mehki Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Moses would provide Zach Wilson with plenty of protection.

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