New York Jets: Top three free agent offensive line targets
By Genna Preston
The New York Jets need to be aggressive during free agency. With a lacking offensive line, the Jets need to inquire about these top free agent players.
Year after year the New York Jets attempt to strengthen their offensive line. Unfortunately, it seems as though they never get it right.
But, with Sam Darnold looking like a future franchise quarterback, it is imperative the Jets focus their efforts on stacking their offensive line during free agency. Yes, there are some great options entering the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Jets need a couple of veterans who can compliment Darnold on the field while conditioning rookies for years to come.
The Jets have already released Spencer Long; not that he was anything to brag about. The Jets need strong players in order to have a cohesive offensive line, and these three players will do it.
3. Matt Paradis, C Denver Broncos
Matt Paradis from the Denver Broncos would be a great fit. Although he spent his last few games on injured reserve (IR) due to a broken fibula, his previous production suggests he has great athleticism.
The 2015 Super Bowl champion hadn’t missed a game since then, up until his recent injury. Paradis is healing well, and walking without a cast, and will most likely part ways with the Broncos in March.
The Jets should meet with Paradis, as he is the best-ranked center entering free agency, and he will be looking for a new team, to shine with.
The Jets have been missing the link that holds the offensive line together since Nick Mangold left. Paradis and the Jets could be a match made in heaven.
Next: 2. Rodger Saffold
2. Rodger Saffold, LG Los Angeles Rams
The Jets also need to analyze the left guard position. James Carpenter has been a top guard for the Jets, but still isn’t the player we need. Not to mention, Carpenter ended the season on IR due to a shoulder injury.
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The Jets need to ensure the safety of Darnold, and Carpenter isn’t the answer. Rodger Saffold, from the Los Angeles Rams, is an extremely versatile player. He has played right and left tackle, as well as right and left guard.
Saffold ranks No. 4 overall out of all guards in the league. He only surrendered three sacks and five hits to opposing defenses in 2018.
Saffold won’t come cheap, especially after his 2019 Super Bowl appearance. But, with the Jets $100 million cap space, they can afford to spend money where needed, and a guard is needed.
Next: 1. Trent Brown
Trent Brown, T New England Patriots
Lastly, the Jets need to inquire about Trent Brown from the New England Patriots. Although the Jets probably won’t get rid of Kelvin Beachum, there is a possibility they will trade or release Brandon Shell.
Shell ended the 2018 season on IR, after having a terrible knee injury. Although it has been reported he is recovering well from surgery, the Jets may want to invest in another tackle; especially with their new coaching lineup.
Shell will be an unrestricted free agent next year. The Jets could decide to part ways a year early in order to sign someone like Brown.
Brown is extremely athletic and is huge; he weighs over 360 pounds and is 6-foot-8. He matches up well with defensive linemen and can take on any player that he comes face-to-face with.
The young tackle aided in the success of Tom Brady and the Patriots’ postseason. Brown is an ideal free agent whose talents are needed on the Jets roster. It’s time for the Jets to take their biggest rivals free agent. Brown is an ideal candidate.
With March only weeks away, the Jets will have some tough decisions ahead of them. One thing is for sure, these three free agents would positively enhance the offensive line and should be considered for the Jets.