The back end of New York Jets’ linebacker depth chart has been overhauled
The New York Jets officially announced four roster transactions on Sunday, all four involving the linebacker position.
Linebackers Hamsah Nasirildeen and Maalik Hall have been released. Filling their spots are another two linebackers: Nick Vigil and Sam Eguavoen.
We've signed LB Nick Vigil and LB Sam Eguavoen.
Additionally, we've released LB Hamsah Nasirildeen and LB Maalik Hall.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 6, 2023
Nasirildeen was selected by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. A converted safety from Florida State, injuries have prevented the 24-year-old from developing into a potential defensive contributor.
Nasirildeen only played 19 games (zero starts) over his first two seasons, including seven in 2022. In Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game, Nasirildeen exited in the first quarter with what was called a neck injury. He was ruled out for the rest of the game but the Jets never provided any further updates afterward.
Hall is an undrafted rookie from Southeastern Oklahoma State.
Vigil and Eguavoen should have realistic chances of competing for a roster spot. The two veterans have each made 53-man rosters on a yearly basis throughout their NFL careers.
Vigil, 29, was a third-round pick of the Bengals in 2016. Over seven seasons, he’s logged 89 games with 53 starts, spending time with the Bengals, Chargers, Vikings, and Cardinals. Vigil was limited to only four games (two starts) for Arizona in 2022 due to a hamstring injury.
Eguavoen, 30, went undrafted in 2015 and wound up joining the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. After three years in the CFL (2016-18), Eguavoen joined the Dolphins in 2019. Eguavoen played in every game for Miami from 2019 to 2022, establishing himself as a core special teams player (1,109 special teams snaps) while occasionally appearing on defense (919 defensive snaps with seven starts).
The Jets appear to have three clear-cut roster locks at linebacker: C.J. Mosley, Quincy Williams, and Jamien Sherwood. Rookie sixth-round pick Zaire Barnes can also be considered a virtual lock. After that, the competition is wide open for a potential fifth linebacker on the roster.
Vigil and Eguavoen will compete against Chazz Surratt, Claudin Cherelus, and Caleb Johnson. Surratt is a former 2021 third-round pick of the Vikings who stood out in the Jets’ preseason opener with an excellent interception. Cherelus and Johnson are undrafted rookies.