The new league year is just about 2 weeks away (March 12), and that is when teams can start making offers to free agents. Day one has been a big day in the past, as we know that was the day that Bart Scott was brought in, as Rex Ryan’s first major move after taking over as head coach.
But, due to the state of the salary cap, a big splashy move is not likely. The Jets are going to have to wait for the initial dust to settle, and look at some secondary level free agents. Productive and low cost will be what the Jets are looking for.
The Jets are losing one, possibly two guards on the offensive line. What can the Jets do about it? They can look at Geoff Schwartz, that’s what. Let’s look at this guy.
First of all, the young man is only 26 years old, he has a lot of time left. He also hasn’t spent a great deal of time as a starter in this league, which will keep his price affordable. But, if you look at his grades from when he HAS started, you see that he could be a diamond in the rough. (Grades, as usual, from Pro Football Focus).
As a rookie with the Carolina Panthers in 2009, Geoff Schwartz cracked the starting lineup in week 15, and stayed their for the rest of the year. In two of his three starts, he finished with positive grades, and his only negative grade was in week 17, and that was only a -0.2. Geoff clearly had a good starting point.
In 2010, Schwartz started every game for the Panthers, the first four at RT, and then moved to the inside at RG for the rest of the season. His overall grade for 2010 was 19.2, which obviously is right behind Brandon Moore’s 2012 number of 21.3. That season, he graded better in pass blocking (7.2), than Moore did in 2012 (5.6), and Schwartz barely fell to Moore in run blocking between those two seasons, 12.8 to 11.3.
After sitting out the 2011 season with a hip injury, Geoff Schwartz resurfaced with the Vikings in 2012, again at left guard. He didn’t start, but saw action in 10 games with Minnesota, and posted a 5.8 grade. Not too shabby in barely over 150 snaps. This is a guy that could flourish, as he did in 2010, if given the chance to start again.
As a career backup, aside from one year, he likely won’t command the money that Brandon Moore would get. He’s younger, and when he has had the chance to play he has been excellent. Dear John Idzik, give him a call.