The NY Jets have decisions to make on 21 remaining unrestricted free agents. In this edition of re-sign or decline, we take a look at offensive lineman Tom Compton.
The NY Jets are expected to completely remake their offensive line this offseason after a disastrous 2019 season in which the team fielded one of the worst offensive lines in football. And veteran Tom Compton could be among those shown the door.
The Jets addressed the offensive line last offseason, but they did so in a half-hearted way that included washed-up veterans in Kelechi Osemele and Ryan Kalil as opposed to true long-term fixes along the line.
As a result, the Jets offense struggled behind an abysmal showing from the offensive line as injuries and poor play tanked the unit.
Going into 2020, fans expect more. They expect better. They expect actual long-term planning.
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One player who helped serve as a one-year stop-gap in 2019 was veteran reserve Tom Compton. Compton was signed by the Jets in March of last year and was initially brought on as quality, experienced depth.
But due to injuries at the position, Compton was forced into a starting role and would make five starts at right guard for the team last year. He was nothing special, but expectations were certainly limited, to begin with.
With Compton’s one-year deal expiring, should we expect to see him back next year?
Should the Jets re-sign him?
Compton performed admirably in his four starts and honestly, there didn’t seem to be too much of a talent drop-off between starting right guard Brian Winters and the veteran backup.
Compton was solid depth last season and the fact that he came to the Jets with prior starting experience was definitely a positive. But it’s hard to imagine that the Jets can’t do better with a younger, cheaper backup.
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If the team is instead going to bring back someone like Alex Lewis, it makes little sense to also re-sign Compton.
Will the Jets re-sign him?
With general manager Joe Douglas’ plan to overhaul the offensive line in the offseason, it seems very unlikely that Compton returns in 2020.
He’ll provide quality depth for some team but Douglas is looking to get younger at the position and it doesn’t make much sense to guarantee money to a 31-year-old reserve who struggled in limited playing time last year.
Compton was given a one-year, $1.6 million contract with $400,000 in guaranteed money last offseason. If he were to be brought back, it’s unlikely the Jets would promise him a roster spot or guarantee him any money.
But given that he’s started 24 games over the past three seasons, he likely won’t settle for anything less.
Unless Douglas or the coaching staff saw something they loved in Compton last season, it seems fairly certain that the Jets will let him walk and load up on offensive linemen in free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft.
But for one season, Compton was at least a serviceable backup.
Odds of re-signing: 20%