New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum is a pending free agent in 2020. Here are 3 potential replacements via free agency, trade, and the draft.
The New York Jets’ top priority this offseason is to upgrade one of the league’s worst offensive lines. Before they can add to it they must determine whether or not they want to keep any of the pieces that are pending free agents.
One of those cogs is veteran left tackle, Kelvin Beachum. He’s 30 years old (will be 31 by the start of the 2020 season) and has been protecting the blindside of Jets’ quarterbacks since 2017. Beachum is now a pending free agent heading into this offseason.
With the team struggling, Beachum has often been a punching bag in the court of public opinion among Jets fans. Although despite that criticism Kelvin has been a pillar for the squad starting 45 out of 48 possible games over the last three years.
If the green and white decide to move on this offseason we explored three legitimate options the Jets should consider in 2020. One through free agency, another through trade, and finally a possible replacement via the 2020 NFL Draft.
Next: 3. Free agency
The New York Jets will have plenty of cap space once again in 2020 to make some moves. General manager Joe Douglas has been adamant since he took over that the trenches will be the main priority every year.
With 2020 being his first offseason running a free agency and draft class, expect him to make a statement with several key signings. One of those should be former first-round pick DJ Humphries.
The 26-year old tackle has experience playing left and right tackle, although in 2016 he made his first start at left tackle for the Arizona Cardinals due to injury. Since he’s played primarily on the blindside and that’s where he’d plug and play for the New York Jets.
Humphries isn’t a perfect prospect by any means, but his size (6-foot-5, 307 pounds) and age is an intriguing combination in free agency. Throughout his career, he’s battled injuries and his work ethic has been questioned, but in 2019 for the first time in his career he played and started in all 16 games.
Next: 2. Trade
The hottest offensive tackle name on the trade market is Washington Redskins tackle, Trent Williams. The 31 (will be 32 by the start of the 2020 season) tackle is one of the best in the game and the reason he’s available is unique.
Williams revealed he had a cancerous tumor and when he told the team six years ago they didn’t do anything about it:
“It was cancer,” Williams said Thursday via CNN. “I had cancer. I had a tumor removed from my skull, attached to my skull. It got pretty serious for a second. I was told some scary things from the doctor. It was definitely nothing to play with, one of the things that changed my outlook on life.”
Trent said that he’s healthy now but it seems like the bridge has been burned between him and the team. Which is something the New York Jets can capitalize on this offseason.
Reportedly the Redskins were holding out for a first-round pick at the NFL trade deadline, but no one bit. The Jets would have to give up two premium picks for an offensive tackle that is closer to the end than he is the beginning.
On the positive side, you’d immediately protect your franchise quarterback Sam Darnold with one of the best tackles in the game. The negative side is that this would be a short term solution until the Jets find something better.
Next: 1. Draft
Although one of the best options for the New York Jets is through the 2020 NFL Draft. The team holds the 11th overall pick and it’s likely going to be used on an offensive tackle. If that does happen it’ll snap a 13 year drought (the last time the green and white drafted a lineman in the first round was 2006).
Not only would this solve a problem on the offensive line, but it would be a long-term solution.
Tristan Wirfs can play guard or tackle at the next level. That kind of versatility will be nice to have just in case injuries ravage the Jets’ offensive line.
During Wirfs’ time at Iowa, he played right tackle but most draft experts believe he has the tools to jump over to the left side.
For the Jets, this is still only one piece to the puzzle. This team is going to need at least three or four new starters on the offensive line heading into 2020. Drafting Tristan Wirfs with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft will go a long way.