Free agent safety Jim Leonhard is unsigned and still rehabbing a torn patellar tendon, but he says it’s a certainty that he’ll be ready to play by the start of training camp — and a good chance that the training camp he’ll be in will be the Jets’.
Leonhard told Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger that he’s “getting close” to being healthy enough to do a workout for an NFL team, and he has “no doubt” he’ll be on the field when camps open in August. Leonhard has played the last three seasons for the Jets, and he believes he could stay there.
“There’s still a very good possibility it could be the best situation for me,” Leonhard said. “You never know. Things could change in the next two weeks with the draft; things could be better here, better there. It’s just hard to try to predict the future, and that’s been the hardest part.”
Leonhard started the first 13 games of the season for the Jets last year before being lost to the injury, and when the Jets signed safety LaRon Landry, General Manager Mike Tannenbaum made a point of saying that Landry’s arrival didn’t close the door on Leonhard’s return.
As a longtime favorite of Jets head coach Rex Ryan, Leonhard likely has a spot on the roster as soon as he’s completely healthy. What isn’t known is whether the Jets will be confident enough in Leonhard’s ability to stay healthy that they’ll offer him the kind of contract he’s seeking. But Leonhard sounds optimistic.