South Carolina Football: Gamecock great gets new NFL contract

South Carolina football alum Javon Kinlaw has signed a new contract with the New York Jets in NFL Free Agency.

South Carolina football alum Javon Kinlaw
South Carolina football alum Javon Kinlaw / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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NFL Free Agency is in full swing. Players are agreeing to new contracts at a dizzying pace, and keeping up with all the personnel movement is tough. South Carolina football fans have been trying to keep an eye out for former Gamecocks making free agency news, and late Monday night, something hit the news wire.

One of the final deals agreed to during what is known as "the tampering period" came when a former Gamecock agreed to a contract with a new team. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is on his way to the New York Jets on a one-year deal. Technically, Kinlaw cannot sign a contract until after 4:00 PM EST on Wednesday (the start of the NFL year), but it appears that he will only have to sign on the dotted line when the time comes.

Kinlaw spent the first four years of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, but he battled injuries each season, limiting the amount of time he was available to play. He had some of his best production in the 2023-2024 season, though, as he tallied 3.5 sacks in a 3-game stretch in December and then had a strong performance in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs.


With the Jets, Kinlaw will be coached by former South Carolina football star Shaq Wilson. Wilson is heading into his second season working as the assistant defensive line coach with New York.

During his South Carolina football career, Kinlaw was an All-American performer who dominated with a unique blend of size and athleticism on the interior of the Gamecock defense. The big fella was a difference-maker in Carolina's 2019 upset of the Georgia Bulldogs, and his dominance at the college level propelled him to becoming a 1st round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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