Darron Lee is reportedly on the trading block. On Monday, shortly after Lee reported for the first day of the Jets’ voluntary offseason workouts, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that New York is still interested in trading their former first round pick. Reports initially surfaced last month — just before the start of free agency — that the Jets will open to trading Lee.
“One player whose name has been mentioned in trade talks is Jets former first-round pick LB Darron Lee, thanks to the big-money addition of CJ Mosley,” Rapoport said via Twitter. “Lee will be there for the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program, as his status remains unchanged, I’m told.”
In March, Manish Mehta of NY Daily News.com was one of the first to report that the Jets were seriously interested in trading Lee. Despite the team’s reported interest in trading him, new Jets’ coach Adam Gase, who coached against Lee during his time as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach, had nothing but good things to say about his inside linebacker during the NFL combine.
“He was always getting beat up by you guys (media) a lot of the times,” Gase said. “And he would play a great game against us (the Dolphins). We would have problems blocking him. We have would have problems making sure he was accounted for. He would do a good job in coverage.”
“I think he’s a type of player that has a lot of things that you’re looking for (at) that position,” Gase added. “I think he has position flexibility. For us, it’s always going to be about getting your hands on guys April 8 (for the start of offseason workouts). It’s hard to do when you watch tape… You don’t really get to be around guys and you don’t get to interact with them. You don’t get to do meetings with them…. When you’re on the field, that’s really where a lot of our evaluation comes in.”
Lee is coming off his best season to date. In 2018, his third NFL season, Lee racked up 74 tackles that included 43 solo stops in 12 regular season games. He also recorded three interceptions after not recording a pick during his first two seasons in New York. Lee also broke up a career high five passes. But he did fail to record a forced fumble or a sack after doing so in each of his first two NFL seasons. In 40 games, the 6’1, 232-pound linebacker has 36 starts to his credit that includes starts in each of his last 27 games. He has 238 tackles to go with 153 solo stops. Lee also has 4.0 career sacks, 11 career passes defensed and three career interceptions.
Lee enjoyed a stellar career at The Ohio State University while helping the Buckeyes capture the 2014 national championship. During his final two seasons in Columbus, Lee recorded 146 tackles (27.0 for loss) to go with 11.0 sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.