Jets sign K Catanzaro, OT Beachum; re-sign LS Purdum
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets made their first real splashes in free agency, signing kicker Chandler Catanzaro and offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum on Friday night.
The Jets also re-signed longer snapper Tanner Purdum, who has spent the last seven seasons in New York.
Catanzaro spent his first three NFL seasons with Arizona, which signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson in 2014. He replaces Nick Folk, who was released two weeks ago after seven seasons with the Jets.
Catanzaro made 84.8 percent of his field goal attempts with the Cardinals. He was 28 of 31 on field goals — including making 19 straight — and tied the franchise record with 53 extra points in 2015. Catanzaro also set a franchise rookie record in 2014 with 114 points.
In a video posted by the Jets on their Twitter page, Catanzaro said he appreciated the opportunity to play in New York. “Jet up!” the kicker said. “Let’s get to work.”
Beachum started 15 games last season with Jacksonville after signing as a free agent.
He spent his first four seasons with Pittsburgh, which drafted him in the seventh round out of SMU in 2012. Beachum, who visited the Jets last year in free agency, is projected to start at left tackle for New York.
“J-E-T-S. Jets! Jets! Jets!” an excited Beachum said in a video posted on Twitter via FOX Sports: PROcast. “I already know the chant, baby!”
Catanzaro and Beachum were the first new players signed by the Jets this offseason after they re-signed tackle Ben Ijalana and outside linebackers Josh Martin and Corey Lemonier on Thursday. They also gave second-round tenders to center Wesley Johnson and cornerback Marcus Williams, both restricted free agents.
Ijalana, who has played both left and right tackle, will likely compete with Brandon Shell on the right side of the Jets’ offensive line.
The dependable Purdum has played in 112 straight games for the Jets, and is the second-longest tenured member of the team behind only linebacker David Harris.