Bills Poach Young Jets Defender Ahead of Playoff Run

Jared Mayden, Alabama Football

Getty Former Alabama Football DB Jared Mayden making a play during a college football game.

An AFC East rival has stolen out of the New York Jets cookie jar.

NFL Insider Field Yates revealed on Wednesday, January 4 that the Buffalo Bills have signed third-year defender Jared Mayden off of the Gang Green practice squad.

In a corresponding move, the Bills cut veteran Xavier Rhodes. The Bills confirmed the move late on Wednesday.

Bills Have Brought Back an Old Piece to the Puzzle

The 24-year-old safety originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama back in 2020.

He spent the first year and a half of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. After he was dumped in October of 2021, Mayden quickly found a new home with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Crimson Tide defensive back was with that squad through September of this year. After spending some time as a free agent Mayden joined the Bills spending three weeks with them on their practice squad.

Most recently he was on the Jets roster for the last two months on their practice squad. Now he is back on the Bills and will have an opportunity to make some noise in the playoffs.

The Bills have been dealing with a slew of injuries at the safety position this season. So much so that second-year defensive back Damar Hamlin was forced into action as a full-time starter.

He appeared in 15 games this season which includes 13 starts. Hamlin was hurt during the Bills’ Week 17 Monday Night Football game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

After being involved in what appeared to be a routine tackle he collapsed back on the ground and “suffered a cardiac arrest” according to the team.

He remains in the ICU in “critical conditions” but has shown signs of recent improvement.

Mayden will try to help fill in during his absence at the safety position. In three seasons he has appeared in six games with zero starts.

Robert Saleh Won’t Get to Live up to His Words to the Bills

The Jets were able to beat the Bills on Sunday, November 6 and the team started dreaming at 6-3.

Over the next seven weeks, the green and white would only win one other contest and now sit at 7-9.

During that stretch, the Jets lost a close one to the Bills in the rematch on the road on Sunday, December 11. Following that game head coach Robert Saleh said “we’re going to see these guys again.”

Saleh indicated with that comment that a third matchup was destined between these two squads in the playoffs.

That dream died on Sunday in Seattle when the Jets lost 23-6 to the Seahawks. Gang Green was eliminated from playoff contention with that ninth loss of the year.

The Jets were able to prove this season that they’re capable of making some noise but to take the next step from try-hard to contender, they’ll need consistent quarterback play.

Zach Wilson is the only quarterback under contract for the Jets in 2023 but they are expected to be very aggressive in the veteran quarterback market this offseason.

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