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New York Jets must retain most underrated pending free agent

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 06: Wide Receiver Vyncint Smith #17 of the New York Jets celebrates with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum #68 after a touchdown in the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 06, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 06: Wide Receiver Vyncint Smith #17 of the New York Jets celebrates with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum #68 after a touchdown in the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 06, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets must retain their most underrated pending free agent. Here are all the details and why it’s paramount to make this decision.

New York Jets fans are excited to spend the team’s money in free agency on players like Robby Anderson and Jordan Jenkins.

While those players are important, everyone seems to be forgetting the most underrated pending free agent the New York Jets have and that’s left tackle Kelvin Beachum.

Beachum is 30 years old and he plays on the offensive line. It’s easy to see why he’s been so overlooked.

Jordan Reid, NFL Draft analyst for The Draft Network articulated these thoughts perfectly during the holiday season:

“Getting socks on Christmas is the equivalent of drafting an offensive lineman in the first round. Not flashy or exciting, but you know if they do their job, you’ll appreciate them at some point later on.”

Getting socks on Christmas is the equivalent of drafting an offensive lineman in the first-round.

Not flashy or exciting, but you know if they do their job, you’ll appreciate them at some point later on.

— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) December 25, 2019

Well, the New York Jets haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 2006 and nothing about the trenches has been flashy or exciting. Hopefully, that changes in the 2020 NFL Draft, but the team would be foolish to pigeon hole itself into making a specific selection on draft day.

Right now the Jets don’t have a long-term answer at left tackle nor do they have a short-term option under contract in 2020.

Make no bones about it, Kelvin Beachum isn’t the best left tackle in the NFL but he also isn’t the worst.

Offensive linemen overall are super under-appreciated. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was a pillar of consistency for over a decade for the Jets and fans didn’t know what they had until he was gone.

After Ferguson hung up his cleats, the Jets enjoyed a rotating door at the position featuring Ryan Clady and disappointment. Then the team stumbled into Beachum and he’s been average, which is a perfect short-term solution until the Jets find a long-term option.

Per Spotrac, Beachum made just over $8 million in 2019 and the team should look into retaining him. It’s the ultimate win-win.

If the Jets aren’t in a position to draft a long-term option, they can lean on Beachum in 2020. If the Jets do draft a developmental prospect, he can learn behind Kelvin and be ready in 2021. By chance, even if they draft a capable player who can step in immediately on the blindside you can shift Beachum over to the right side or have a key veteran backup just in case injuries happen (cough, cough).

Next. New York Jets: Top 10 2020 NFL free agents Gang Green should chase

Although worst-case scenario, if the Jets don’t retain Kelvin, the team will be forced to do something in the 2020 NFL Draft. That often results in a team reaching for a player which often equates to drafting busts which the Jets are all too familiar with. Time to break the cycle.

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