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Jets agree to 3-year deal with former Ute Sione Pouha

Published: Monday, March 12 2012 11:59 a.m. MDT

New York Jets' Sione Pouha reacts after tackling Kansas City Chiefs' Jackie Battle for a safety during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets defeated the Chiefs 37-10.

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York Jets have agreed to a 3-year contract with nose tackle Sione Pouha, who would have become a free agent Tuesday.

The team considered re-signing Pouha a top priority after the seven-year veteran had a strong 2011 season even as the team's overall defense slumped.

Pouha, who has spent his entire career with the Jets, had 58 tackles last season and also was credited for a safety. He's considered a team leader, something the Jets desperately need after a season marred by a fractured locker room.

The 33-year-old for Utes star became a starter when Rex Ryan was hired as coach in 2009 and has been one of the Jets' most reliable defensive players for the last three seasons.

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