Robert Saleh Sends Message to Jets Free Agent, Wants Him Back

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting ahead of an NFL game.

There appears to be one free agent that the New York Jets would like to return to the fold this offseason.

Head coach Robert Saleh was in the middle of an interview with senior reporter Eric Allen when he decided to send a message to Ashtyn Davis.

“We love Ashtyn, I know he’s out there. I know he’s looking but if he watches this video, we love you buddy,” Saleh said cracking a big smile.

Davis Is a Very Important Pending Free Agent for the Jets

The former California product originally entered the league as the No. 68 overall pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Davis, 27, got into the game of football very late in his life. He was a track athlete in college and just decided to walk on and join the football team.

NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein called him a “monster athletic tester” with “A-plus character” according to scouts.

Essentially the Jets drafted an athletic piece of clay with some raw football abilities. Throughout his four years with the green and white Davis appeared in 54 games and made 21 starts.

He never became a full-time starter, but became a key rotational guy on defense and most importantly was used on special teams.

The Jets already lost Pro Bowler Justin Hardee on a one-year deal to the Cleveland Browns. Gang Green can’t afford to lose another special teams ace in Davis.

Over the last two years, Davis appeared in 75% (2022) and 82% (2023) of the special teams snaps respectively for the Jets.

Jets Aren’t Done at the Safety Position

“Traditionally we keep four,” Saleh said when asked about the safety position.

Right now Gang Green has Chuck Clark, Tony Adams, and Jarrick Bernard-Converse. The safety market has been slow to develop in free agency and there are plenty of big names still available.

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic revealed that Davis is seeking “an opportunity to start” on the open market. He said if that doesn’t come to fruition, “the Jets would welcome him back.”

Davis only appeared in 19% of the defensive snaps this past season, but boy did he make the most of them.

He registered three interceptions, eight pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, and finished with 37 total tackles.

“It is funny, all Ashtyn does is find the ball,” HC Robert Saleh said late in the season via Jack Bell. “I am a big fan of his. He has done nothing but work. He was a valuable and very underrated piece of this defense. The way he goes about his business and the way he works, that play embodies everything that he represents for this defense.”

Coming out of Cal, Davis registered snaps at both safety and cornerback. Plus he earned national recognition for his efforts on special teams.

“He has earned his right to be on the football field. He is forcing his way on the field. [DC Jeff] Ulbrich is very comfortable getting big nickel out there because Ashtyn fits up. He can run all the zones, he can play man coverage, [and] he understands run fits. [Davis] understands all the blitzes. He understands everything. We are kind of spoiled in that Ashtyn is playing at such a high level that we are able to use him accordingly,” Saleh explained last season via Jack Bell.

The Jets have high hopes for Clark who they re-signed ahead of free agency but he’s coming off of a torn ACL. That leaves the position razor-thin from a depth perspective.

With Jordan Whitehead signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there’s an opportunity for Davis to earn even more playing time in 2024 if he re-signs with the Jets.

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