Jets claim DT Mike Pennel off waivers from Packers

The New York Jets picked up a veteran nose tackle Monday, acquiring Mike Pennel on waivers, a source told ESPN's Field Yates.

Pennel, 25, played the last three seasons with the Green Bay Packers, but he was released Jan. 9 after a tumultuous season. He was suspended twice for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, causing him to miss the first four games and the last four games. He didn't appear in the postseason.

The third-year pro filed a lawsuit in an Ohio federal court in November, alleging that the NFL and the NFL Players Association failed to satisfy the rules of the collective bargaining agreement when it came to hearing the appeal of his second suspension.

Pennel then agreed in December to accept the second suspension, one day after the NFLPA said Pennel's appeal hearing had been postponed. A second suspension could have meant a 10-game ban, and it was not clear why Pennel received only another four-game ban.

In eight games last season, Pennel recorded seven tackles and played 101 defensive snaps. He has played in 37 career games, including five starts in 2015. He is listed at 6-foot-6 and 332 pounds.

The Jets are deep at nose tackle, with Steve McLendon and Deon Simon. McLendon, 31, missed the last five games of 2016 with a significant hamstring injury. He has a $3.9 million cap charge for 2017, so he isn't a lock to return. His injury created an opportunity for Simon, a 2015 seventh-round pick who earned praise from the coaching staff.

The waiver period opened Monday for the non-Super Bowl teams.

ESPN's Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.