Tarik Cohen is signing a one-year deal with the New York Jets for the 2024 season

Tarik Cohen Bears pic
Tarik Cohen Bears pic

This offseason, the NFL is implementing new kickoff rules. They are trying to cut down on the long collisions that have happened in the past. Now more than ever, it’s a premium to have an elite return man who can make people miss and put the team in a positive starting position. 

With the new rules in place, the Jets are signing a veteran RB who was once one of the best returners in the league. Twenty-eight-year-old Tarik Cohen hasn’t played in an NFL game since Week 3 of 2020. However, the Jets are signing the former All-Pro to a one-year deal for the 2024 season. Cohen has been working for the last two seasons to try and get back on the field. Injuries have given him some major obstacles.

Can Tarik Cohen be the Jets’ starting returner for the 2024 season?

Tarik Cohen was a 4th-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2017 out of North Carolina A&T. The dymanic RB is undersized at five-foot-six, but he makes up for that with his elite return skills. His nickname is the “human joystick”. For Chicago, Cohen was a first-team All-Pro returner in 2018. He led the NFL that season with 33 punt returns for 411 yards. For the first three years of his career, Cohen proved to be a difference-maker for Chicago.

Unfortunately, Cohen suffered several severe injuries during Week 3 of the 2020 season. The former Bears RB suffered a torn ACL, torn MCL, and tibial plateau fracture. He would miss the rest of the 2020 and all of the 2021 season due to those devastating injuries. During a workout in 2022, Cohen ruptured his Achilles and needed surgery. That ruined any chance he had of returning in 2022. Last season, Cohen signed with the Panthers’ practice squad. However, he was placed in the practice squad IR in November due to hamstring issues. The Panthers released Cohen earlier this month.

Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh told reporters today that Tarik Cohen will have a chance to compete for the starting returner job. Last season, the Jets used Xavier Gipson as their main return man. However, New York sees value in Cohen and is willing to give him a chance. We’ll see if Cohen can stay healthy and play in the NFL for the first time in nearly four years.

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