The two sides reached the agreement late Tuesday night and will sign the contract Thursday, agent Harold C. Lewis said. The deal is for $6.1 million, with an additional $2 million in incentives that could make it worth as much as $8.1 million.
Bowens, who spent the last six seasons with Miami, is the fourth defensive end signed by the Jets in recent weeks, joining Kenyon Coleman, Andre Wadsworth and Michael Haynes. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Bowens has 26 career sacks, including 18 in the last three years, and 168 total tackles in eight NFL seasons.
Bowens, who'll be 30 in July, had five sacks for Miami last year as a part-time player and will likely serve as a pass-rush specialist for New York. He'll be reunited with former Dolphins coaches Dan Quinn, now the Jets' defensive line coach, and Tony Wise, New York's offensive line coach.
Bowens reportedly picked the Jets over the Panthers, Dolphins and Patriots.
"We are excited to have him in New York and look forward to playing the Dolphins two times a year," Lewis said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Having two of his ex-coaches in New York was the deciding factor."
Although a defensive end for his entire career, Bowens, 29, will probably play mostly at outside linebacker, in a kind of hybrid-type position or in a situational role, in New York's 3-4 alignment.
Lewis told The Journal News that the Jets were relentless in the pursuit of his client. He said a manager in the Jets' operations, Ari Nissim, called him constantly after Bowens visited the team in early March.
"He was relentless," Lewis told The Journal News. "He was calling every single day after David visited."
The Jets posted 35 sacks in 2006, in coach Eric Mangini's first season, but want to create more pressure this season.
Bowens was drafted in the fifth round out of Western Illinois in 1999 by Denver but moved around often early in his career. The Broncos traded him to Green Bay after his rookie year, and the Packers sent him to Buffalo the following summer but he was soon cut. The Redskins signed him off waivers and cut him a few weeks later before the Dolphins signed him.
ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.