Former New York Jets safety Jim Leonhard visited with the Buffalo Bills on Friday setting off a few NFL rumors. It is believed Leonhard, who began his career with the Bills in 2005 as an undrafted free agent, took a physical but left the Bills training facility without signing a contract.
Leonhard missed the last three games last year after tearing a tendon in his right knee. It usually takes between eight to ten months for an injury like Leonhard’s to heal. He injured his knee on December 11th last year and is probably not 100 percent yet. However, if healthy, Leonhard would provide excellent depth to the Buffalo secondary as well as outstanding leadership.
Leonhard quickly became a fan favorite in New York after spending the first three years of his career in Buffalo and then one with the Baltimore Ravens before coming to the Jets in 2009. He has always been a hard hitter and his intelligence on the football field is hard to match. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time with the Jets and after he went out to season ending injuries last year and in 2010, the Jets secondary suffered mightily as a result.
While it is unlikely that Leonhard will be healthy enough to sign with a team and participate in camp, there is a chance someone would sign him and stash him on the Physically Unable to Perform/Reserve list while waiting for him to get completely healthy and learn the defense before allowing him on the field.
Earlier in the offseason, the Jets left the idea open to re-signing Leonhard but it is unknown if Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan still have that door open. For now it appears there is mutual interest between Leonhard and the Buffalo Bills and that might be enough. It all depends on what Leonhard’s medical report had to say.