Offensive tackle DJ Humphries received a fat contract extension this offseason. Here’s why the NY Jets learned 2 very important things from this.
One of the big names that were expected to reach unrestricted free agency this offseason, won’t. Earlier this week the Arizona Cardinals handed offensive tackle DJ Humphries a fat contract extension to keep him for the foreseeable future.
If Humphries would’ve reached free agency, the NY Jets would’ve been highly interested in adding him to the team, considering its lack of depth on the offensive line.
The NY Jets learned two very important things from this news.
1. Offensive linemen are going to be VERY EXPENSIVE in free agency.
DJ Humphries is a 26-year old offensive tackle that by all accounts is a very average player.
In his four-year career he has only started in an entire season once (2019), but overall has only played in 43 out of 64 possible games due to a rash of injuries.
On the other side of the coin he brings versatility (has experience playing on both the left and right side).
So in other words, Humphries has his fair share of warts and is by no means a perfect player. Despite that, he was handed a three-year $45 million deal with $30 million over the first two years of the deal, $29 million guaranteed.
That’s an average of $15 million per season which makes him the fifth highest-paid offensive tackle in all of football.
So what did the NY Jets learn from this? Offensive linemen in free agency are going to cost you a lot of dough.
Consider this, DJ was only negotiating with the Cardinals and signed ahead of free agency and he still became the fifth highest-paid offensive tackle in football. Imagine how much bigger the cap figure would’ve been if the Cardinals had to bid against the other 31 teams in the league?
Here are the top remaining options available in free agency:
- Joe Thuney, guard, New England Patriots
- Brandon Scherff, guard, Washington Redskins
- Jack Conklin, tackle, Tennessee Titans
Next: Here's the 2nd thing they learned
The #Jets Zone w/ @BoyGreen25 feat. @nyjets team reporter @EGreenbergJets:– What kinds of players will Joe Douglas be looking for this offseason?– Who are some names to watch at the #NFLCombine?– Cool anecdotes on top #NFLDraft prospects.#TakeFlight https://t.co/RAjjBLcZVT
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) February 19, 2020
2. The chances the Arizona Cardinals take an offensive lineman in the 1st round just decreased.
The Arizona Cardinals by retaining its pending free agent offensive tackle and paying DJ Humphries “top-five” money at his position, now suggests the team will go in another direction in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Does this completely rule them out? Absolutely not.
Last season the Cardinals gave up the fifth-most sacks in all of football (50 sacks allowed). So they could obviously still use more help, but it’s less likely with how much money they just invested in the position.
This should be great news for the NY Jets. They currently hold the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and they have a desperate need to improve the trenches.
Here are the 10 teams that are ahead of Gang Green in the 2020 NFL Draft and the likelihood that they’d take an offensive lineman in the first round:
- Cincinnati Bengals (zero chance)
- Washington Redskins (zero chance)
- Detroit Lions (not likely)
- NY Giants (super likely)
- Miami Dolphins (not likely)
- LA Chargers (very likely)
- Carolina Panthers (possible)
- Arizona Cardinals (not likely)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (possible)
- Cleveland Browns (super likely)
With 10 other teams ahead of them, they need to hope and pray that one of the top four offensive tackles falls to them: Jedrick Wills Jr, Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, and Andrew Thomas (in no particular order). The chances of that happening just increased ever so slightly.