NY Jets: Will the team re-sign or decline Brandon Shell?
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets will remake a lot of their offensive line in the offseason and one player who could be a casualty of the expected change is Brandon Shell.
The NY Jets went into the 2019 season feeling cautiously optimistic about the state of their offensive line. Unfortunately, the unit underwhelmed and one of the more disappointing seasons came from right tackle Brandon Shell.
Shell was one of a few holdovers from an offensive line that finished in the bottom-half of units in the NFL in 2018. He along with the likes of Kelvin Beachum and Brian Winters were joined by veterans Ryan Kalil and Kelechi Osemele on a new-look Jets offensive line.
But it didn’t take long for that line to fall apart.
The five-man unit up front struggled immensely early in the season and soon lost both Osemele and Kalil to injuries — not that either was a huge loss. But it was actually Shell who was replaced first with rookie Chuma Edoga assuming the starting role after Week 3.
Injuries to both Edoga and Beachum forced Shell back into action and he would go on to start 11 games in 2019, but it was clear that the Jets didn’t see him as a viable starting option.
Now a free agent, will the Jets give him another chance in 2020?
Should the Jets re-sign him?
For all of the criticism the Jets offensive line received in 2019 — deservingly so — Shell was actually one of the unit’s top performers. Not that that’s an indication of success, but it does speak to how poorly he was treated.
Shell finished the season with a somewhat respectable 63.6 Pro Football Focus grade which was actually second out of all offensive linemen on the team trailing only Kelvin Beachum. Yet despite this, the Jets were intent on replacing him as quickly as possible.
Much of this was due to the team’s desire to get Edoga on the field, but it’s hard to argue that the rookie was anywhere near an improvement over Shell.
Whether Jets fans want to admit it or not, Brandon Shell will likely be a starter for some NFL team next year. But it’s highly unlikely that team will be the Jets.
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Gang Green is looking to upgrade their offensive line in the offseason and with Edoga expected to start at right tackle, there is little reason to bring back Shell who is still a below-average starter.
Even though he may have been underrated, he certainly isn’t good enough to warrant a second contract.
Will the Jets re-sign him?
The Jets made their intentions clear when they benched Shell after just three games last season. Despite moderate play, it was evident from that point on that he wasn’t in their future plans.
Instead, the Jets will go into 2020 with Edoga as their projected starting right tackle and the team will hope that he could improve upon a rough rookie season.
Meanwhile, Shell will likely try and tag on with another team.
For a fifth-round pick, the Jets actually got pretty solid value back in 2016. A three-year starter, Shell held his own and established himself as a viable starting-caliber right tackle.
But the Jets are ready to move on and they have been since September. Shell will be playing for a new team in 2020.
That much is all but certain.
Odds of re-signing: 5%