Originally written on Turn On The Jets  |  Last updated 2/15/12

The New York Jets don’t have many of their own free agents to be worried about this off-season. It would be nice to bring Robert Turner back for offensive line depth, along with Jim Leonhard and Bryan Thomas on veteran minimum deals to provide insurance on defense. However, there is one move that Mike Tannenbaum absolutely needs to take care of and that is bringing Sione Pouha back.

I am aware the Jets don’t have excessive cap space but Tannenbaum needs to do some of that cap maneuvering he is so well known for to keep the Jets nose tackle. Rex Ryan’s defense needs a run stopper in the middle and Pouha has been the perfect fit the past few years. Kenrick Ellis showed last year that he is far from ready to be an every down player and Pouha, despite being 33, should still have 3-4 very good seasons left in him considering he has only been a full time player the past three years of his seven year career.

More importantly, Pouha is one of the few leaders left in the Jets locker room. He is a player who actually deserved the “C” on his chest last year. In the lockout extended off-season, he took the entire defensive line under his wing for workouts and helped guide them to a surprisingly productive year despite largely being a young and unproven group.

The Jets cannot keep letting leaders…and productive leaders at that, walk from their team. Pouha must be brought back in 2012 if this team is going to take steps towards improving their fractured locker room and 8-8 record.

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