FRISCO, TX - JANUARY 11: John Daka #7 of the James Madison Dukes tackles Trey Lance #5 of the North Dakota State Bison during the Division I FCS Football Championship held at Toyota Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Frisco, Texas.
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Joe Douglas and the New York Jets have signed outside linebacker John Daka to a reserve/future contract on Tuesday.

Robby Sabo

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Michael Scott once flawlessly echoed those words at Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, PA. Some hockey historians believe Wayne Gretzky came up with one of the truest quotes in sports history. How silly.

Nonetheless, it is, indeed, true. Perhaps that’s why the New York Jets recently took a shot when they signed outside linebacker John Daka to a reserve/future contract on Tuesday.


Daka, 23, signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 NFL draft. The James Madison product is an edge player, a guy who’s played both defensive end and outside linebacker (depending on the scheme).

All told, Daka tallied 27.5 sacks in his collegiate career. He also led the FCS with 16.5 sacks and 28 tackles for loss in 2019.

At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Daka has the size needed to rush the passer from the edge. Daka was waived by the Ravens in late August and did not make the team’s initial 16-man practice squad—despite many onlookers believing he might squeeze in there.

Now, he’ll have a shot with the Jets.

How the reserve/future contract should be viewed is simple: It’s used on players a team think is on the cusp of breaking out. The player cannot have finished the previous season with an NFL team’s active roster (Week 17), and the new contract doesn’t go into effect until the start of the new league year—at which point, all the particulars (salary, cap hit, roster spot) count against the team’s 90-man roster.

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Douglas and the Jets have given John Daka a shot once the new league year begins. Edge is certainly a position the organization desperately wants to solve.

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