Dec 1, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) talks to New York Jets offensive tackleAustin Howard
(77) before the start of a game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Free agency is going to be here before we know it. March 11th is not that far away, and the frenzy of moves will begin. We will be all over it from the Jets’ perspective when the time is right, but for now, we kick up the free agency talk to prepare.
Austin Howard is an unrestricted free agent. The Jets want him back, and understandably so. We have talked time and time again about the need for continuity on the offensive line. It would behoove the Jets to bring him back, but as a guy on the rise at a starting offensive line spot, there is no guarantee that will happen.
So, other than Austin Howard, let’s take a look at some guys the Jets could bring in either on the line as the starting tackle, or for the ever necessary offensive line depth.
BRANDEN ALBERT: Although he made his first Pro Bowl in 2013, the Chiefs declined to tag this guy with either the franchise or transition tag, so he will hit the free agent market.
He is 29 years old, and measures in at 6’5″, 316 pounds. He has started 83 of 85 career games he has been active for, so Albert is a guy that is durable for the most part. He has spent his career at left tackle, so, he might not be able to start right away if need be at right tackle. Branden could certainly be a valuable asset along the line, adding depth and experience.
ERIC WINSTON: Here is a guy that could step in, if the Jets were unfortunate enough to lose Austin Howard.
He was drafted by the Texans in 2006, and became a full-time starter in 2007. Since then, he has started every game at right tackle, despite leaving Houston for Kansas City and Arizona.
He stands 6’7″, and weighs 302 pounds.
Winston may have had an off-year last year, but he is only two years removed from ranking just outside Pro Football Focus’s top 25 of tackles, coming in at 26th. In 2011, he was the 10th rated tackle in the game. Eric Winston would be a good choice as well.
TYSON CLABO: Here the Jets could snatch a player from a rival, and he’s a guy that could start in Austin’s spot, or provide depth.
Clabo played with Miami last year, the Falcons for several years before that, and started 116 games total for the two teams. Clearly a durable player. He is 6’6″ tall, and weighs 315 pounds. At 32 years old, he could provide some added experience along with his depth.
There are three guys that could help. What do you guys think?