As reported by John Clayton, Damnit. Bernard was, at one point, an elite or near-elite pass-rushing tackle. Part of his hidden value is that he always had a nice stop rate, though 2008 was the exception. The deal with the Jints is five years, $25 million, guaranteed money unknown.
Having signed Bernard and former Atlanta linebacker Michael Boley, New York is adding two players with abilities that fit their defense. Boley was a square peg in Atlanta's less aggressive defense in 2008, to the point that he was benched on first and second downs late in the season. Bernard goes from a defensive line with a great many questions to a line with a lot of very loud answers.
Update by John Morgan: The feeling among Seahawks fans is that Bernard had a down season. He certainly wasn't as disruptive as season's past. But defensive tackle is as likely as any position to suffer from a complete team failure. Bernard faced fewer favorable positions and fewer favorable matchups than seasons past.
The basic scouting report on Bernard is intact. He's quick off the ball and a strong single gap tackle. He never quits. A signature Bernard pass play involves a blur of activity off the snap; the opposing quarterback lazily making his progressions before Big Rock explodes from the scrum and hammers him mid-release. He's lost a bit of his closing speed, but he's still agile enough to follow a quarterback on a roll out.
Bernard has developed into more of a gap control tackle. He can hold the line very well, even against double teams, and though he doesn't crash the line like Mebane, he can shed and stop against most guards and centers. He's a good run defender, both in his ability to tackle running backs and to keep blockers off his linebackers.
Defensive tackles who can rush the passer, hold the point and tackle opposing backs are rare and valuable. Red Bryant has a lot to live up to.