Craig James, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Contract, Sign, Cut
Craig James, New York Jets, Getty Images

Craig James comes over from Philadelphia to join the New York Jets’ special teams

Though he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, Craig James is still seeing green.

The veteran defensive back didn’t linger long on the free agent list for long, as multiple reports say the fifth-year defender and special teamer will be joining the New York Jets.

James, 26, entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Illinois after spending two seasons at Minnesota.

Though he began his career with the Minnesota Vikings, James spent most of his first four seasons working with the Eagles’ special teams unit before the team released him on Monday.

Perhaps ironically, James (no relation to the Pro Bowl running back and former ESPN analyst of the same name) made one start at cornerback for the Eagles against the Jets in October 2019, earning three tackles in a 31-6 win at Lincoln Financial Field.

Jets X-Factor Membership

Though he served as a special teams captain during the 2020 campaign, James spent all of last season on the Eagles’ practice squad and did not appear in any games. He was made expendable thanks to Philadelphia’s surplus of cornerbacks, which includes newcomers James Bradberry and Jimmy Moreland, formerly of the New York Giants and Houston Texans respectively.

James’ most notable moment in Philadelphia came in a nationally televised contest against Green Bay just over a week before he showed up in the starting lineup against the Jets. His tip of a would-be Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass landed in the hands of Nigel Bradham, securing a Philadelphia victory.

James will now work with a special teams unit overseen by coordinator Brant Boyer, who is set to enter his seventh year at the helm. The Jets had two players (Justin Hardee, Del’Shawn Phillips) reach double figures in special teams tackles last season.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email:
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1 year ago

Definitely writing on the wall for Hardee

1 year ago

More versatile & cheaper alternative to Justin Hardy