Jim Leonhard on the sideline during a home game
Jim Leonhard, 185 tackles in 40 starts with the New York Jets. A bruiser, and hard tackler, and player that isn't afraid to get dirty nor hurt. A Wisconsin Badger drafted by the Buffalo Bills, moved to Baltimore and migrated to the Jets with Rex Ryan. When he was out for the season two straight years in the middle of the season, the Jets missed him, a lot. He was the leader of the defense, he made sure everyone was where they needed to be and he was the secondary king of our defense. But plagued by injuries some doubted a return with the Jets if they filled their safety holes this off-season. They did more then fill those holes. As I reported earlier the Jets signed former Miami Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell, and earlier on in this off-season they signed former Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry. So what does this mean for Leonhard?
I'm sad to say it but it looks like he'll be suiting up in a different jersey next year, or worse, retirement. Plagued by a broken leg in 2010 and a fractured knee in 2011 some teams say that is enough injuries for them not to sign Leonhard. But in reality one team will give him a shot, he is still 29 years old and he could even stay on the Jets. But two leg injuries in two seasons and been playing football for over 10 years at a higher level (NCAA or NFL), he may be just a backup or a starter for a crummy team. For Leonhard I say good luck to wherever you are playing and wherever that is I will cheer for you because you were always one of my favorite Jets. I hope the Injury bug won't bite you again.