Sometimes, the saying goes, you have to tear something down, then build it back up.
That’s kind of what the Jets did with their tight end position. Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett were staying around but everything else was in play.
After one week of free agency, the position has been reassembled — and special teams has also benefited — with the additions of a new talent and a familiar face.
The newbie is Daniel Brown, the fifth-year man who played eight games with Baltimore in 2015-16, then 34 more with Chicago through last season’s playoffs.
“I was just looking for the best opportunity for me and my career,” Brown said. “Having talked with the staff here, we felt like that was the best opportunity. The best way to go was to sign with the Jets.”
And the familiar face belongs to Eric Tomlinson, who spent the past three seasons with the Jets, playing in 36 games and starting 29.
“I visited with a few other teams,” Tomlinson said after entering the free agent market last week and returning to the Green & White this week. “In the end, I always wanted to stay here. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, so it’s great to be back here.”
While Brown is new in town, he’ll be seeing several familiar faces himself in the Atlantic Health Training Center. The Bears had Dowell Loggains and John Dunn on their coaching staff when Brown was there, and now Loggains is the Jets’ offensive coordinator and Dunn is coaching the tight ends.
“Having decent production with Dowell and with what John taught me in Chicago, it makes for a fun offense,” Brown said. “Tight ends were very featured in that offense and I think it’s an exciting offense to be in.”
And for a short while, Brown played on a Ravens offense that in practice went up against a vaunted defense featuring inside LB C.J. Mosley.
“He’s a stud. The Jets got a good one in C.J.,” he said. “I’m happy to be playing with him again. I know the defense here had a good, strong core, but adding him is only going to help. They’re getting an All-Pro guy, a Pro Bowler. Be on the lookout.”
Tomlinson, on the other hand, can’t wait to establish a relationship with the UFA “stud” the Jets signed for their offense in RB Le’Veon Bell.
“Just going through it in your mind, it’s like, ‘Dang, I want to start blocking for him already,’ ” ET said. “You can see what Le’Veon can do and what he can bring to the table. It’s going to be great.”
Last year the TE meeting room included, at different times, Clive Walford, who signed this month with Miami, and Neal Sterling, still on the market. Now a new depth chart is in the works.
“I think Chris Herndon is a great football player. He’s going to be a great tight end for a long time,” Tomlinson said. “Also Jordan Leggett, I think they both have potential to be really good. It’s good to be in the same room as them. We kind of teach each other and they might do one thing really good and they can kind of teach me, too.”
As for Adam Gase, his new head coach, Tomlinson offered his expectations in simple terms:
“Just bring that fire, that energy, and get this thing rolling.”