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Rich Cimini   ESPN Staff Writer 

The Jets' much-maligned offensive line improved its pass protection after last week's 10-sack debacle in Philly. It allowed only two sacks and only six pressures (one was a coverage sack), per NFL Next Gen Stats. C Ryan Kalil called it a team effort, saying their hard work finally paid off.

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The first-glance numbers are promising; the Jets’ offensive line allowed just two sacks during Sunday’s 24-22 win over the Cowboys – way down from the 10 it gave up the week prior.

The second-level stats look good, too; the starting five up front slashed its pressures allowed from 23 to 10 in one week’s time.

“There was a lot of good, definitely,” head coach Adam Gase said. “It’s a tough front to go against, (the Cowboys) do a lot of things where, the line movement with these guys, it’s abrupt, it’s quick, it’s violent. If they’re not all on the same page, bad things happen. I thought they did a good job.”

After five weeks of stressing communication up front, Gase felt like his offensive line took a step forward in that regard against the Cowboys, too. That’s all good – and Gase is hoping it’s a sign of progress for his new starting lineup, which was together for just the second week.But it’s worth pointing out that those improvements didn’t come in a vacuum; they were all clearly aided by the return of quarterback Sam Darnold.“He buys you that extra second you need sometimes, especially on the third-and-six-to-nine area, third-and-six-to-10,” Gase said. “He either slides in the pocket or he scrambles outside the pocket. He’ll do things like that.”

You know who didn’t do things like that? Luke Falk.

That’s not a shot at Falk, but it is a reminder that Darnold adds more than just his arm talent to this offense. His mobility is a huge asset, especially considering the offensive line he’s working with. His ability to feel pressure, move around and still make a play with a less-than-perfect pocket helps cover flaws up front.“It’s definitely something that’s ingrained in me, for sure,” Darnold said. “I think that’s a good way of saying it.”But it wasn’t just Darnold’s instincts and footwork that hid some offensive line errors; his decisiveness and quickness helped, too. Darnold averaged just 2.24 seconds from snap to throw against the Cowboys – the second-fastest release time of any quarterback this week.

In other words, Darnold was neutralizing the pass rush by getting rid of the ball before they had any chance to break through.

That’ll be critical moving forward, too, because there’s a good chance the Jets will have to make more offensive line changes once again this week; left tackle Kelvin Beachum is week-to-week with an ankle injury after leaving Sunday’s game early.Gase plugged Brandon Shell, who recently lost his right tackle job to Chuma Edoga, into that spot against the Cowboys. But he won’t commit to keeping him in that position moving forward."Going into this week, we’ll sit down and talk about it,” Gase said. “Having the extra day (before a Monday night game) always helps. We’re going to be able to take a hard look at, ‘What’s the best lineup for this week and what’s our best matchups?'”

If there are changes made, that’ll put the Jets’ newfound communication skills up front to the test once again – and put even more pressure on Darnold to cover up some of the cracks in this piecemeal offensive line.

>       https://www.nj.com/jets/2019/10/is-jets-offensive-line-actually-improved-or-does-sam-darnold-get-credit-for-that-too.html

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Rich Cimini     ESPN Staff Writer 

Kelechi Osemele, having shoulder surgery, will be a one-and-done for the Jets. No way he's back next year with an $11.4M salary. They got three games out of him. The Jets didn't give up much to get Osemele from Oakland, dealing a fifth rounder and receiving a sixth (injured CB Bless Austin) in return. At the time, it seemed like a solid trade, but former GM Mike Maccagnan over-estimated Osemele's ability to rebound from a poor 2018. Truth be told, he was on the verge of getting benched.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini     ESPN Staff Writer 

LT Kelvin Beachum (ankle) has started 37 straight games for the Jets, but that streak could end on Monday night. Beachum isn't practicing today, but they haven't ruled him out yet. Former starting RT Brandon Shell is the logical replacement, but coach Adam Gase was non-committal. The other alternatives are rookie RT Chuma Edoga and recently-acquired Conor McDermott (one career snap at LT).

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Rich Cimini     ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets G Kelechi Osemele, who hasn't practiced for two weeks due to a shoulder injury, will be fined and/or suspended for conduct detrimental if he doesn't practice tomorrow, a source said. The Jets and Osemele disagree on the severity. A team doctor and an independent doctor cleared him to practice, a source said. Osemele told reporters today that he needs surgery to repair his shoulder.

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

Kelechi Osemele mess: 1.) If he received pain killers to play Wks 1-3, why didn't he appear on injury report until Wk 5? Could be a violation of league rules. 2) As vested vet, he collects remaining $5.8M whether he's on IR or not. To recoup money, the Jets would have to start a separate process. No indication that has been initiated. 3.) Fine for conduct detrimental can be max of one week's pay ($580K). Subject to further fines. Listed as "doubtful" this week, strategic designation by Jets.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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The Jets are expected to reshuffle their offensive line yet again.

With Kelvin Beachum (ankle) doubtful to play Monday against the Patriots, rookie tackle Chuma Edoga is expected to start at left tackle, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.Brandon Shell filled in at left tackle when Beachum left the Jets’ 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday but ultimately gave up a sack to Robert Quinn. Shell is not a left tackle by trade and will move back to his natural position of right tackle.

Edoga, who replaced Shell on the right side, will slide over to the left side. Edoga had previous experience playing left tackle at the University of Southern California, where he started two games at the position as a sophomore.

Other changes may come as both Alex Lewis (neck) and Ryan Kalil (shoulder) are listed as questionable for Monday night’s game. Kalil missed practice on Saturday, while Lewis was a participant on a limited basis. The Daily News noted that it is likely Lewis suits up after tweaking his neck in practice on Friday.New York is ready to insert Jonotthan Harrison at left guard or center if need be. The team seems to be comfortable with its interior offensive line depth while being forced to shake up the exterior yet again.

The line is coming off it’s strongest game of the year, so let’s see if the unit can build on that performance despite more changes and injuries.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/10/20/new-york-jets-offensive-line-changes/

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Joe Douglas’ gamble on Ryan Kalil already looks like a mistake.

The Jets general manager coaxed the 34-year-old center out of retirement this summer with an $8 million contract in an effort to bring leadership and experience to the Jets offensive line. After six games, though, the Jets would have been better off if Kalil had just stayed away from the gridiron.

After Mike Maccagnan failed to upgrade the center position this offseason, Douglas spent time searching for a player better than presumed starter Jonotthan Harrison. Kalil appeared to be a natural fit, despite his age, but it was apparent from the start this might not work out well. Kalil missed the entire preseason while slowly getting back into shape, and his absence stunted the offensive line’s ability to mesh as a unit. Now, seven weeks into the Kalil experiment, the move looks like a big miss. He’s been one of the worst centers in the league with a 45.1 Pro Football Focus grade and has been consistently beaten back by powerful defensive tackles or failed to provide separation at the point of attack. Kalil, despite his 12 years and five Pro Bowl appearances, has made a lot of mental mistakes as well throughout the season. He snapped the ball over Sam Darnold’s head in the shadow of their own end zone this past week and is the fourth-most penalized center this season.

The Jets offense has been one of the worst in the NFL this season, and that mostly stems from the horrid play of the offensive line. New York is last in passing yards per game (142.2) and yards per play (3.8), 29th in rushing yards per game (66.8) and 31st in sacks (26). A lot the passing statistics can be blamed on three games with either Luke Falk or Trevor Siemian under center, but the rushing stats are a damning indictment on Kalil. The Jets run up the middle 60 percent of the time but have been stuffed on 24 percent of their attempts (fourth-highest in the league). Le’Veon Bell, who the Jets gave a $52.5 million contract this offseason to be their bell-cow running back, has only mustered 326 yards and one touchdown. Although Bell ranks 13th in carries with 100, he ranks 42nd in yards per rush with 3.3.

Kalil can’t be held accountable for all of the Jets’ offensive woes, but as the center, it’s his job to rally the players and keep them accountable. Kalil did take responsibility for the offensive line’s mistakes after the Jets’ Week 1 loss to the Bills, but the Jets haven’t seen a positive progression in the trenches. They held strong against the Cowboys’ front-seven in Week 6 but followed it up with an 11-hurry game vs. the Patriots where Darnold turned the ball over five times with constant pressure in his face.Kalil enjoyed a solid 12-year career with the Panthers that culminated in 2018 with his first healthy season since 2015, and he will be remembered as one of the best centers in the game from 2009-2015. But for the sake of his legacy and the Jets’ 2019 offensive line, he should have stayed committed to his retirement. The promise of more money and playing with an exciting young quarterback in New York was apparently too much to pass up, though, and now the Jets boast a terrible line with an aging center in the middle.

There’s a chance the Jets will get their first look at a Kalil-less line in a regular-season game after the center injured his elbow in Week 7. The Jets listed Kalil as day-to-day, and Harrison would start if Kalil can’t go. Even if Kalil is cleared to play, the Jets may want to try out Harrison at center to see if youth may be the answer to their problems up front.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/10/25/ryan-kalil-should-have-stayed-retired/

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Rich Cimini       ESPN Staff Writer 

How bad was the Jets' pass protection yesterday? Adam Gase said QB Sam Darnold was sacked, hit or touched nine times in a 13-pass span at one point. Gase: "That's going to change how the quarterback plays. We have to do a better job of protecting him. He has to do a better job of protecting himself. I have to do a better job of calling plays." Gase said he'd like to call more moving-pocket plays to help with protection and get Darnold in his comfort zone.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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  • 3 weeks later...

After elevating Kyron Brown from the practice squad, the Jets had a spot to fill.

The team announced on Wednesday that they signed offensive lineman Ben Braden to the practice squad.Braden was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan in 2017. He didn’t make the initial 53-man roster in 2017, but was signed to the practice squad. The Jets then signed him to a future/reserve contract in January 2018.

In 2018, Braden made the 53-man roster, but was waived shortly after that and then re-signed to the practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster at the end of November. In 2019, Braden was back on the practice squad before being waived in September. Braden was signed to the Packers practice squad a couple days later and was waived last week.


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Kelvin Beachum isn’t always a fan favorite – but he ought to be Sam Darnold’s favorite teammate.

The Jets’ left tackle receives plenty of criticism. Understandably so. After all, he’s allowed four sacks and 16 pressures in seven games, according to ProFootballFocus.com. The 30-year-old certainly isn’t among the elite at his position. Odds are the Jets will let him walk in free agency this offseason and look for a much-needed upgrade.But, for all his flaws, Beachum has undeniably been a major factor in Darnold’s success – or lack thereof – this season.

Both Darnold and Beachum have played seven games this season. But the two have only overlapped in four of those games. Three times, Darnold has been forced to play with a fill-in left tackle.

Here are Darnold’s numbers in the four games with Beachum protecting his blindside:

• Eight touchdowns, two interceptions, 104.8 rating, 10 sacks

That’s pretty darn good. By contrast, here’s how Darnold has played in his other three starts:

• Three touchdowns, eight interceptions, 50.9 rating, 12 sacks

Yes, yes – correlation doesn’t prove causation. But it sure doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Beachum’s return from an ankle injury in Week 10 overlapped with Darnold’s slump-busting performance against the Giants.

Clearly, Beachum’s presence has been huge for Darnold and the Jets’ offense as a whole.“He’s a really good leader for that group, he has been for a couple years now and when he’s in there, he’s just another guy that everyone looks to,” Darnold said. “If we’re in a lull or if we’re not finding the rhythm that we keep talking about, he’s the guy that kind of pushes the tempo and makes sure that everyone is on the same page.”

Unfortunately for Darnold, there’s a chance he could be without Beachum again this week; head coach Adam Gase announced Monday that the left tackle re-aggravated his ankle against the Redskins on Sunday. However, Gase also said the injury does not appear as severe this time around and that Beachum still hopes to practice this week.

Based on those numbers, Darnold is hoping he will, too.

>      https://www.nj.com/jets/2019/11/is-this-oft-criticized-jet-actually-sam-darnolds-key-to-success.html

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The Jets announced on Wednesday that they signed OL Ryan Crozier to the practice squad.

Crozier signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Connecticut following the 2019 NFL draft. He was waived with an injury designation following the preseason and eventually released with a settlement.As a redshirt senior at UConn, Crozier started all 12 games at center for the Huskies. He helped the Huskies produce a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.

Crozier, 24, previously worked out for the Jets in October. He has never appeared in a regular-season NFL game. He will help add depth to the center position now that Ryan Kalil is on injured reserve and Jonotthan Harrison is starting at center.

Here is an updated look at New York’s practice squad:

  1. WR Jeff Smith
  2. RB Valentine Holmes (international)
  3. WR Josh Malone
  4. QB Mike White
  5. Bronson Kaufusi
  6. Corbin Kaufusi
  7. LB Ukeme Eligwe
  8. LB Jamey Mosley
  9. OL James Murphy
  10. OL Ben Braden
  11. OL Ryan Crozier

>     https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/11/20/jets-ryan-crozier-practice-squad-uconn-denver-broncos/

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  • 3 months later...

The NY Jets will have a few decisions to make regarding their offensive line in the offseason and one of the key ones will be whether or not to re-sign Alex Lewis.

The NY Jets are expected to do everything they can in the offseason to completely overhaul their offensive line. But one player who might be worth keeping around is guard Alex Lewis.

Lewis was originally acquired by the team back in August as part of a last-ditch effort by general manager Joe Douglas to improve the offensive line before the start of the season.The Jets sent a conditional seventh-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for Lewis and it proved to be one of Douglas’ finest moves early in his Jets tenure. And really, it was one of the only things that the new general manager could do.The roster was constructed in the offseason without his guidance meaning that he was more or less stuck with the team he inherited.

Trading for Lewis was one of his summer dart throws that actually panned out.After an injury and the subsequent release of Kelechi Osemele, Lewis would take over the starting left guard job, starting 12 games for the team down the stretch. And while he was nothing special, he did provide a level of consistency.Pro Football Focus gave him a below-average 56.1 grade which is indicative of exactly what Lewis is. He’s a low-tier starting option and excellent depth to have on any roster.But with Lewis set to hit the open market, will the Jets opt to bring him back?

Should the Jets re-sign him?

The Jets likely aren’t going to keep very many offensive linemen that were on the team in 2019 around for 2020. But Lewis is absolutely someone the Jets should consider re-signing.The 27-year-old got off to a hot start stepping up for the loss of Osemele and while his level of play dipped in subsequent weeks, he still provided stability on a very unstable offensive line.That said, he’ll likely want to be given a starting role — whether that’s with the Jets or not. Lewis has started 30 of 35 games in his career and will likely demand low-end starter money.

If the Jets are content holding on to Brian Winters and his $7.5 million cap hit as recent words from Douglas would indicate, then re-signing Lewis to be the other starting guard makes little sense.The Jets can upgrade over Lewis and expect them to do everything they can to do so in free agency with the likes of Brandon Scherff, Joe Thuney, and Graham Glasgow all on the market.In an ideal scenario, the Jets should cut Winters and free up some cap space, sign one of the above guards, and consider going into 2020 with Lewis and a free-agent pickup starting at guard.

But it remains to be seen if that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Will the Jets re-sign him?

Alex Lewis actually has a lot going for him.He is one of the few players on the roster who were legitimate Joe Douglas acquisitions which should help him out in the long run. Plus his price tag would be smaller than Winters’ 2020 cap hit and whatever free agents they could target.That said, his fate will likely depend on what the team decides to do with Winters. At this point, it seems pretty clear that the Jets are going to sign an offensive guard in free agency. That means that it’s either Lewis or Winters.Douglas’ recent comments seem to indicate that the Jets would choose Winters.

Joe Douglas hinted strongly the Jets will bring back RG Brian Winters in 2020, even though his contract ($7.5 million) isn't guaranteed. Douglas touted Winters as last year's only Week 1 o-line starter under contract in 2020 & said his rehab (shoulder surgery) is going well.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

It’s a press conference — Douglas is going to talk up his players no matter what. His comments don’t mean that Winters is fully safe for the foreseeable future even if he seems to have given the veteran guard a bode of confidence.Despite these comments, I’m still betting that the Jets free up some much-needed cap space and cut ties with Winters. In that scenario, bringing back Alex Lewis seems likely.But there’s too much uncertainty here to be confident in that prediction.

Odds of re-signing: 55%

>   https://thejetpress.com/2020/02/25/ny-jets-re-sign-decline-alex-lewis/

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There is no way around the critical situation the Jets are facing.  No way to sugar coat it.  No bright side to look on. The Jets do not have a single starting quality player at any of the offensive line positions.  

Here is where the Jets stand from an evaluation based strictly on the talent and ability of the individual offensive lineman that they can have on the roster if they so choose.  

1.  Edoga. does not have the skill set to play on the outside of the line.  It is possible that he can work out on the interior, but that is just wishful thinking.  All considerations for cap space and lost contact money aside, I would not want him on the roster, period. 

2. Tom Compton.  I rate him as a solid and reliable back-up, but I do not want him as a starter.

3. Jonotthan. Harrison.  From what I was seeing, I'd actually rate Harrison as their best lineman when playing at center. I'd go so far as to call him a bottom third of the league starter at the center position.  If the Jets have to retain any of their current lineman as a starter, he'd be the one I'd want.

4. Beachum. Another solid back-up.  I'd rate him as a top tier back-up at the LT position.   He is NOT want you want as a starting LT, but if your franchise LT went down, you wont have to worry about the season going down the tubes due to a dead QB.  I would only want him as a back-up.  He's not a starter.

5. Shell. Big and sluggish.  So sluggish, he has not been able to take advantage of any leverage such a large RT should be able to bring to bare.  At first, I considered him a developmental guy that could be coached up, but now, I don't even want him as a back-up on the outside. 

6. Ben Braden.  Has the size, but from what little I have seen, he's sloppy and has heavy feet.  Strictly developmental.  Not even considered as a back-up.

7. Kalil.  Major, MAJOR props and recognition for a career as one of the best in the league at C.  Please, stay home and reflect on a great career.   His name should not be on any active roster. 

8.  Kafusi.  Another developmental player.  An intriguing one.  Undersized, but agile and fluid. 

9. Alex Lewis.  Unaccomplished journeyman of 4 years

10. Connor McDermot.  Unaccomplished journeyman of 3 years.  Big and strong, lacking in technique. 

11. James Murray. Barely developmental. 

12. Qvale.  Good enough to be considered a great back-up, but only within the context of the current Jets stable of offensive lineman.

13. Winters - Versatile, but once again, only good enough to be considered as an option if you are the 2020 Jets.  

So, there you have it.  Out of the entire batch, you have one player that could be rated as a bottom tier starter.  That would be Harrison at Center.

And here is another *pisser* for you.  Mekhi Becton is being mentioned as a possible first round pick for the Jets.  Would that not be a total kick in the ass ??? Beckton is Vlad Ducasse the sequel. 

How in hell do you find four starters in one off-season ???

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2 hours ago, THE BARON said:

And here is another *pisser* for you.  Mekhi Becton is being mentioned as a possible first round pick for the Jets.  Would that not be a total kick in the ass ??? Beckton is Vlad Ducasse the sequel. 

Don't be so sure that he'll even be around. Now we're hearing Beckton may go to the Giants at #4. (Good for us).

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32 minutes ago, RichardTodd27 said:

Don't be so sure that he'll even be around. Now we're hearing Beckton may go to the Giants at #4. (Good for us).

My top pick would be Andrew Thomas.  There is still a chance he can fall to # 11.  My second best pick would be Wirfs if he is available and Thomas is not.  If either of them is not available, I'd go for Wills.  Love his agility, but not sure if he has the length to be an ideal LT.  Perhaps he'd be better as a RT.  If the Jets run an offense that is best suited for Darnold, you will see the pocket move very often.  A fluid player like Wills would still be a nice addition.  I would stay away from Becton despite the size and athleticism.  He *may* turn out to be the stud lineman of the draft after a few seasons of learning, but he may also wind up being another Vlad Ducasse.  The Jets simply cant afford to whiff on this pick.  I would not take the chance.  If Thomas, Wirfs and Wills are all gone, trade down or take one of the two top WR's.  

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 — Jets general manager Joe Douglas has the unenviable task of performing radical reconstructive surgery on an offensive line that severely underperformed last season. The new guy in the big chair might have to perform a complete makeover depending on how the dominos fall in the coming weeks in free agency.Could the Jets actually have five new starters along the line in 2020?“We’re all looking for continuity,” Douglas said at the NFL Scouting Combine this week. “So, five new starters would be a less-than ideal situation. That being said, we have to do what’s in the best interest of this team this year and long term. So, if it comes to that, it comes to that.”For all the issues that plagued the Jets last season, the organization must do a much better job protecting its most valuable asset: Sam Darnold.

Only three teams allowed more sacks than the Jets and only four allowed more quarterback hits last season. It’s a recipe for disaster when the franchise’s centerpiece is consistently under duress. The last thing that folks on One Jets Drive need during this critical phase is to stunt Darnold’s growth because he’s not properly protected.“Obviously, we need to have a strong offensive line,” Douglas said. “We have to do a good job of taking care of Sam moving forward.”Smart teams build from the inside-out. So, it’ll be Douglas’ charge to improve all across the line. With only one two starters (right guard Brian Winters and center Jonotthan Harrison) under contract for 2020, Douglas & Co. have a lot of critical decisions to make this offseason.Adam Gase and Douglas’ challenge will be compiling the best five players, who can work together to fortify the trenches. There were plenty of culprits on the league’s worst offense from last season (32nd in total yards, 31st in rushing and scoring and 29th in passing). Most times, the best five players aren’t necessarily the best five who can work best together.

Signing the biggest — and most expensive — free-agent linemen won’t guarantee success. Sometimes, grabbing a lesser hyped player makes better sense. Weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the five players is an arduous task when you’re attempting to assemble a giant, fluid puzzle. There’s a fair amount of projection (or guesswork, depending on your perspective) to determine whether your line can function at a high level together without ever actually seeing them play together.That makes the Jets’ challenge that much more difficult.Is it even possible to properly rebuild an offensive line with long-term viability in one offseason?“It’s tough,” Gase said. “Because in free agency you’re going off of what you’ve known in the past of guys. You check all the research you had whether it’s coming out of college, some of our guys might have had players in free agency on a different staff. That’s one good thing about having guys who have been around a little bit. They’ve had a lot of experience with different guys.”

“You just try to do the best you can to find the five that will work well together,” Gase continued. “It’s a tough puzzle to put together. I wish it were really easy where you just said, ‘here you go,’ and went and rolled. That’s the toughest part of being a GM, where Joe’s got to figure out how to put those puzzles together the right way to where we can hit the ground running and have success doing it.”It’ll be a monumental task for Douglas, who has made no secret that line improvements will be his top priority.There are some intriguing free-agent options, including a couple in-house. Gang Green would like to bring back guard Alex Lewis at the right price. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum was the best lineman last season, but how much are the Jets willing to offer to retain him?Winters, who missed the second half of the season due to shoulder surgery, is scheduled to count $7.3 million on the 2020 salary cap. The Jets would clear all that money by cutting him, but …“With Brian, that’s a special case,” Douglas said. “He’s the only returning (Week 1) starter we have. We’re not looking to dig ourselves even more of a hole.”

Maybe not, but it makes a world of sense to bring him back at a discounted rate. Regardless, there will be plenty of moving parts. The Jets appear headed to draft an offensive linemen in the first round, too. Whether it’s standing pat at No. 11 or moving up or down (likely down), there are some quality lineman options.“I think it’s a good group,” Douglas said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of guys who become starters in the NFL. ... There are quite a few guys that kind of fit the mold of what we’re looking for: smart, durable, tough, explosive, guys that can play multiple positions,” Douglas said. “The versatility, that’s a big thing. You’ve got to be able to play multiple positions. So, there’s quite a few guys who fit that bill.”

Douglas might have to build the line from scratch to get to where he ultimately wants to go.

>     https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/ny-joe-douglas-jets-offensive-line-20200227-o22xuikdmre27exw26g7o3pv7m-story.html

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The NY Jets are in ‘hot pursuit’ of offensive tackle Jack Conklin at the NFL Combine. Here are all the details and how much it could cost.

When NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas said he would make the offensive line a priority moving forward, apparently he wasn’t kidding.The latest rumors at the NFL Combine suggest the team is in “hot pursuit” of offensive tackle Jack Conklin, per Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network.Conklin is considered one of the top options ahead of free agency in 2020 on the offensive line and isn’t expected to re-sign with the Tennessee Titans.

Jack Conklin is 25 years old (will be 26 by the start of the 2020 season) and is coming off of a career year in 2019. In four seasons with the Titans, Jack has started 57 out of 64 possible games.The Titans took a risk by not exercising his fifth-year option prior to the 2019 season and it didn’t pay off for Tennessee. Now Conklin is expected to find a long-term deal on the open market to make him one of the highest-paid right tackles in all of football.

Per Spotrac, his “market value” projects he’ll receive a six-year deal for over $90 million which averages out to $15 million per season. That would make him the third highest-paid right tackle in the NFL only behind Lane Johnson (Philadelphia Eagles) and Trent Brown (Las Vegas Raiders).This would immediately plug the gaping hole at right tackle on the roster for the NY Jets. Brandon Shell and Chuma Edoga held down the role last year. Shell is a goner in free agency and Edoga, in theory, could be a nice swing tackle option from the bench or worst case could slide in at guard for Gang Green in 2020.

Also, it’s worth noting if the NY Jets swing and miss on Conklin that Tony Pauline also revealed what Joe Douglas’ plan B would be :

“If the Jets don’t land Conklin, their back-up plan could include Halapoulivaati Vaitai of the Philadelphia Eagles, who general manager Joe Douglas is familiar with. Vaitai is a versatile offensive lineman that’s played several positions for the Eagles and as someone from the organization told me he can be a “solid starting right or left tackle” in the NFL.”


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The NY Jets have plenty of notable internal free agents to worry about this offseason, but one player who shouldn’t make for a difficult decision is Brent Qvale.

The NY Jets have big plans for the offensive line this offseason and those plans will likely consist of purging their current depth chart. One player who could find himself as a casualty of this is veteran Brent Qvale.Qvale is actually quite the success story having first entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2014. After suffering a concussion in training camp, the Nebraska product was cut and later signed to the practice squad where he would spend all of his rookie season.But after proving his versatility as both a guard and a tackle, Qvale was able to make the 53-man roster and played in all 16 games in 2015. Over the next three years, Qvale would play in 44 games making 13 starts before re-signing with the Jets last March.

Unfortunately, the 2019 season wasn’t as kind to the durable veteran.Qvale played in just three games after spending nearly all of the season on the injured reserve before being activated on December 12th.Now a free agent once again, the Jets will have to decide whether they want to bring him back for another year or not.

Should the Jets re-sign him?

Brent Qvale has never been a starting-caliber offensive lineman. But there is something to be said about spending six years as a backup with one organization. It speaks to his durability and versatility that the team saw him as a reliable backup for so long.In fact, only three current Jets players have been with the team longer than he has — Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, and Rontez Miles. That’s a pretty remarkable feat in its own right

That said, there’s little reason to re-sign him for next season.The Jets will be better served getting younger and more reliable at the position as despite Qvale’s experience as a starter, it hasn’t always been “good” experience. He’s a bottom-of-the-roster player who might crack a roster as a No. 7 or 8 offensive lineman.But with the Jets looking to revamp the position in the offseason, there’s no reason for Qvale to be back in 2020.

Will the Jets re-sign him?

The answer here is pretty much the same.Qvale has served his role as a valuable special-teamer/backup offensive linemen and his versatility at guard and tackle is nothing to scoff at. But he’s not quality depth at this point and he’ll be 29-years-old in a week.

The Jets will turn to free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft to replace many of their starters and expect them to do more of the same for their backups. Perhaps players like Alex Lewis, Jonotthan Harrison, or even Tom Compton could be retained as reliable depth.But Qvale isn’t someone the Jets are going to look to bring back. His only selling point is his experience with the organization, but that likely isn’t going to get him very far.

Expect Qvale to be playing for a new team in 2020.

Odds of re-signing: 5%

>      https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/03/ny-jets-will-team-re-sign-decline-brent-qvale/

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Rich Cimini  ESPN Staff Writer 

The Jets should inquire about Redskins LT Trent Williams, but it's proceed-with-caution because of age/economics. He'll be 32 and is seeking a long-term extension, presumably in the $16M-$18M APY range. (Due to make $12.5M in ‘20, final year of deal.) Williams is a 7-time Pro Bowler, but the Jets have to balance present vs. future cost. Do they want to invest that much in a player on the back end when they can pick a LT at 11? He received permission to seek a trade, per ESPN's Dianna Russini.

>     https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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The NY Jets can fix their offensive line woes this offseason. Here’s a full plan on how the team can do that in the 2020 NFL Draft and in free agency.

Everything fell apart for the NY Jets in 2019 for a variety of reasons. Although the root of all those issues can all be traced back to the team’s offensive line woes.

Sam Darnold was banged up both on and off the field. While we can’t blame the trenches for his diagnosis of mononucleosis, we can blame them for the sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries. That stunted the development of Darnold and thus stymied the team’s chances of winning ball games.NY Jets fans have been begging the football gods forever for a franchise quarterback. Many talented passers have come and gone over the years, but none of them have been able to live up to the hype.Sam Darnold seems different. There’s a quiet yet confident moxie, pocket presence, and an ability to improvise that you just can’t teach.

Despite the superstar traits, when you put anyone behind an average or subpar offensive line they can go from Superman to Clark Kent very quickly. There’s no better example than Andrew Luck with the Indianapolis Colts. Many analysts considered him one of the best quarterbacks in the game, but years of neglect to the offensive line eventually eroded him from a superhero to a mortal. Which eventually forced him to call it quits many years before anyone could’ve predicted.That should be a cautionary tale for the NY Jets who believe they have finally found a worthy franchise quarterback to build around. But be warned, if you don’t protect him, Darnold will suffer the same fate that Andrew Luck did.To prevent that from ever happening, we decided to cook up a perfect strategy this offseason to fix the trenches for the green and white. Here’s our foolproof plan utilizing the 2020 NFL Draft and this year’s free agency period.

Free agency plan

The NY Jets have over $50 million in cap space although experts expect the team to have over $70 million by the time everything is said and done. With that being the case, Gang Green has a few different ways they can go:

  • Swing for the fences and attempt to acquire as many big-named free agents in the trenches as possible. This would feature names like Joe Thuney (New England Patriots), Brandon Scherff (Washington Redskins), and Jack Conklin (Tennessee Titans).
    • Any of these options would require market setting money but each possesses the credentials to back up such an extraordinary investment.
  • Or maximize value and sign several second and third-tier options to load up with depth and versatility.
    • The options in this category are endless considering the pieces that’ll be available during the free agency period.

With Kelvin Beachum heading to free agency, the team is in dire need of a starting left tackle. The plan should be to sign a veteran like Jason Peters (high-quality player with a connection to general manager Joe Douglas from their time in Philadelphia together), but his age (38) and durability concerns are too troubling to rely on.So instead Joe Douglas should sign Halapoulivaati Vaitai. A versatile 26-year old (will be 27 by the start of the 2020 season) offensive tackle that is expected to earn between $8 and $12 million per season on a long-term deal.Douglas spent several years in the Philadelphia Eagles organization and knows Vaitai well. He would provide some flexibility ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft with his ability to play left or right tackle.

During the NFL Combine, Joe Douglas intimated that the team would like to retain Brian Winters at guard. His $7.3 million cap charge includes no guarantees, so the team could cut him and save all of it on the cap. Although the best move would be to rework his contract so they make half of it incentive-laden.At center the Jets can simply ride the Jonotthan Harrison train. He’s super affordable $2.25 million and has versatility (can play across the formation) but has shown some potential at center. There aren’t any great options on the free-agent market that make sense, so this is the clear answer.At the other guard spot, the NY Jets apparently will be “all in” on Graham Glasgow formerly of the Detroit Lions. Over the last three years, he has started 47 of 48 possible games. He has experience at all interior positions along the offensive line which could come in handy in a pinch.At right tackle, the Jets will likely swing for Jack Conklin. If they can land him he’d be a plug and play option, but the money is going to be insane. The team should consider some second and third-tier options like Daryl Williams, Jared Veldheer, or Germain Ifedi.

2020 NFL Draft plan

In our simulated free agency plan, the NY Jets didn’t break the bank for anyone but the team did add valuable depth and a variety of second-tier options throughout the trenches.

In the 2020 NFL Draft, the team owns eight selections and four in the top-80 which is the highest quartet of picks since 2013.With the 11th overall pick, the Jets should take the best offensive lineman on the board. In a perfect world that would be Jedrick Wills, Andrew Thomas, or Tristan Wirfs. If any of those players were selected they could plug in at left tackle from day one or flip to the right side to pair with Halapoulivaati Vaitai.For those curious: Mekhi Becton has an incredibly high ceiling and perhaps could one day enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame with his talent level alone, but the reason I wouldn’t be comfortable taking him is that he’s got too low of a floor for me to take a gamble on with a top-11 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.Then on day two, I would add another center to the mix to compete with Jonotthan Harrison. There should be plenty of options available: Matt Hennessy of Temple (his brother is the long snapper for the NY Jets), Lloyd Cushenberry III of LSU, or Tyler Biadasz of Wisconsin.

If the NY Jets were able to follow this blueprint in free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft here’s what their offensive line would like heading into 2020:

LT: Jedrick Wills/Andrew Thomas/Tristan Wirfs (one of the three)

LG: Brian Winters (the team should also invest at guard depth on day 3 of the NFL Draft)

😄 Jonotthan Harrison and either Hennessy, Cushenberry, or Biadasz

RG: Graham Glasgow (the team should also invest at guard depth on day 3 of the NFL Draft)

RT: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/13/ny-jets-team-can-fix-offensive-line-2020-nfl-draft-free-agency/

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  • 7 months later...

Mekhi Becton talked a big game at the NFL combine earlier this year. Now he’s backing it up.

Becton knew his game would translate to the NFL coming out of the University of Louisville. He made that assertion known in February when he said, “I feel like I’m the most dominant tackle in this draft.” The Jets ended up picking Becton 11th overall in April. Now, halfway through his first season, he’s showing that his pre-draft self-hype wasn’t wrong.“If you go back to my (scouting) combine interview… I told them I was the most dominant player in the draft and I’m showing it today,” Becton said, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “I gotta keep showing it.”

What Becton has put on film through the first six NFL games has been cringeworthy — for opposing defenders. He is making some of the NFL’s best pass rushers look silly when they try to get past him. Becton has made a habit of putting them on the ground when they come near him.

One of Becton’s best plays on film came this past week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Frank Clark came at Becton off the edge. Becton put him on the grass with ease.


Overall, Becton has been the Jets’ best offensive lineman. He has been strong in pass protection, as he’s only given up three sacks this year. Running behind Becton, meanwhile, has been Gang Green’s best hope for advancing the ball on the ground.When the Jets are running to Becton’s side, they’re averaging 5.59 yards per carry, which is seventh in the NFL in terms of running behind a particular lineman. When Becton hasn’t been at left tackle and the Jets run to the left side, they’re averaging just 4.80 yards per carry, only good for 20th in the league.

Becton is proving to the rest of the league that he was one of the most dominant players in this past year’s draft. If he continues to play this way, Becton could potentially be the best player out of the 2020 NFL draft. The sky is the limit for the Jets’ left tackle.

>   https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/11/07/new-york-jets-mekhi-becton-confidence-2020-nfl-draft/

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Jets view recently acquired lineman Pat Elflein as a natural center.

While that position is currently occupied by Connor McGovern, Elflein certainly provides more depth than Josh Andrews has this season. Elflein hasn’t played the center position since 2018, but it’s where he enjoyed his success in Minnesota and Ohio State.The Buckeyes moved Elflein from guard to center as a fifth-year senior and he handled the position change by winning the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the nations’ top center. He was then a PFWA All-Rookie after starting 14 games at center for the Vikings.

While the Jets see Elflein as a center, he has positional flexibility, which gives him “a lot of value,” Adam Gase said Wednesday, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini.Elflein saw most of his struggles come at the guard position, as the Vikings shifted him out to left guard following the 2019 draft. At the start of the 2020 season, Elflein was moved over to the right side.While Elflein’s best shot at auditioning for a starting spot over the next seven games will likely come in place of a struggling Alex Lewis, the Jets prefer him in the middle.

Even though Elflein was recently activated off injured reserve by the Vikings, he likely won’t join his new team until Monday due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/11/19/new-york-jets-pat-elflein-center-vikings/


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  • 3 weeks later...

Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

Recently-acquired G Pat Elflein, who grew up in Ohio and attended Ohio State, was a Nick Mangold fan. He called Mangold an "inspiration. I've heard nothing but good things about him." Mangold, too, was a Buckeye standout before becoming the Jets' center for a decade. Elflein likes the vibe around the Jets: "We've got a really good thing going on here." Cut him a break; he's new.

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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  • 2 months later...

Final 2020 offensive line rankings

Offensive linemen often don’t get the recognition they deserve because it’s a difficult position to evaluate — one without readily available statistics to pull up in seconds. That's why the PFF play-by-play grading gives us a unique perspective regarding offensive line play, as it separates the play of the offensive line from the play of the quarterback it is protecting or the runner it is blocking for.

Using those grades as a guide, this is where each team’s offensive line stacked up during the 2020 regular season, with the important caveat that this list is meant to reflect how each group played this season rather than serve as a projection of future performance or talent.

~ ~  29. NEW YORK JETS

The Jets, like the Dolphins, threw a lot of resources at the offensive line this offseason. That included a first-round pick spent on Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton, who impressed in his rookie season. His 74.3 PFF grade ranked 19th out of 38 qualifying left tackles despite battling injuries, and he showcased that his rare blend of size and athleticism could cause serious problems for defenders.

Overall, however, it was a disappointing season for the offensive line in New York. They allowed pressure in 2.5 seconds or less on 28% of their dropbacks — the worst rate in the NFL. The line wasn’t creating many lanes in the run game, either. The Jets averaged just 1.1 yards per carry before contact per rushing attempt in 2020 (30th). Once again, they’ll have to look to add pieces to their offensive line this offseason.

rest of above article


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8 hours ago, chad2coles said:

Douglas needs to address the OL again in the draft as well as free agency.  I do think that Becton, McGovern, and Fant can all have success as starters if they can get some production from their guards and they have a normal preseason to work together in the new blocking system.

i'm hopin' we can sign.. 

Joe Thuney  or  Brandon Scherff


cheers ~ ~ 


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