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Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Jets re-sign Willie Colon

By Rich Cimini

Free-agent guard Willie Colon, who brought toughness and leadership to the New York Jets' offensive line, re-signed with the team Wednesday.

He received a one-year, $2 million contract, according to a league source.

The team announced the move on Twitter.

It's official. We've re-signed G @WillColon66 -

- New York Jets (@nyjets) March 19, 2014

Colon also tweeted about his return.

I wanna thank Jet nation for keeping me in there hearts and prayers thru this process so blessed to be back home. #NYJets

- Willie Colon (@willcolon66) March 19, 2014

Colon's future with the Jets looked bleak after he tore a biceps in the final quarter of the final game last season, but his surgical rehab is said to be progressing well. He's expected to be ready for the late-spring organized team activities and minicamp.

In a conference call Wednesday, Colon said he expects to be 100 percent and participating in football activities by June.

With no heir apparent at right guard, it made sense to bring him back for another season. Colon, who made $1.2 million last season on a one-year deal, started 16 games for the Jets after spending the first six years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Colon, who turns 31 next month, played in every game for the first time since 2009.

One of his goals was to make it through the season without any major injuries, and he came within five minutes of accomplishing that.

Colon's return means four starters from last year's line are back. The lone newcomer is former Seattle Seahawk Breno Giacomini, who replaces Austin Howard at right tackle. Howard signed a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Colon said he drew some interest from the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings.

"I'm happy to be home," he said on the conference call. "I always wanted to be back with the Jets. It's unfortunate that I got hurt. There was a time when I didn't know if it was going to happen, especially with me getting hurt again, but it all worked out in my favor."

Colon was one of Rex Ryan's most outspoken supporters last season, when it appeared the coach was in jeopardy of getting fired.

"If he [got fired], it would've set us back from the standpoint that we'd have to build a rapport with a new coach," Colon said. "All that takes time, the continuity and the chemistry, the trust in a new coach -- all that takes time. It doesn't happen overnight.

"I feel like we have those things and that belief in Rex. He's homegrown. Obviously, his father coached here. We believe in Rex and Rex believes in us and we wanted him to stay with us."