The New York Jets have agreed to a 3-year contract with nose tackle Sione Pouha, who would have become a free agent Tuesday.
The team considered re-signing Pouha a top priority after the seven-year veteran had a strong 2011 season even as the team’s overall defense slumped.
Pouha, who has spent his entire career with the Jets, had 58 tackles last season and also was credited for a safety. He’s considered a team leader, something the Jets desperately need after a season marred by a fractured locker room.
The 33-year-old Pouha became a starter when Rex Ryan was hired as coach in 2009 and has been one of the Jets’ most reliable defensive players for the last three seasons.