AP source: Jets not bringing S Ihedigbo back

A person familiar with the situation says the Jets will not

re-sign free agent safety James Ihedigbo, meaning the hard-hitting

special teams ace will be playing elsewhere this season.

Ihedigbo (ee-HEAD-ee-BO) has been with the Jets since 2007, when

they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of the University of

Massachusetts. He was a key contributor as a backup in Rex Ryan’s

secondary, setting a career high with three sacks last season, and

was second on the Jets with 27 special teams tackles.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of

anonymity because the team had not announced its plans.

Ihedigbo, 27, was a favorite of Ryan and special teams coach

Mike Westhoff but will leave after four years in New York.

It was believed the Jets wanted Ihedigbo back, especially since

the safety position appeared thin when free agency began. He also

tweeted to fans recently saying he wanted to return. But New York

then re-signed Eric Smith and Brodney Pool, and added free agent

DaJuan Morgan to bolster the safety spot, which includes Jim

Leonhard and Emanuel Cook.

The move came on the same day the Jets released popular wide

receiver Jerricho Cotchery.