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NY Jets must make a serious attempt to sign Larry Warford

NY Jets (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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The NY Jets have been given a golden opportunity to continue bolstering their offensive line with the recently-released Larry Warford.

The NY Jets completely revamped their offensive line in the offseason with the additions of players like Connor McGovern, Mekhi Becton, and George Fant — among others. But with Larry Warford now on the market, the Jets mustn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity.

The New Orleans Saints officially announced the release of the standout offensive guard on Friday after spending the past three years with the team. And in those three years, he managed to make the Pro Bowl in each season.

Yet despite that, the Saints cut ties with the 28-year-old in a cap-saving move. The team’s tight cap situation combined with the selection of Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft forced their hand.

But make no mistake about it, Warford is now arguably the top name on the open market. And the Jets — along with many other teams — will be very interested in acquiring his services.

The Jets beefed up their interior offensive line in the offseason signing the aforementioned McGovern to fill the starting center position. But the two guard spots remain mostly underwhelming.

Alex Lewis was re-signed in the offseason to continue holding down the left guard role he assumed midway through last season. Meanwhile, the Jet assigned veteran Greg Van Roten to take over for Brian Winters at right guard.

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But while Van Roten is a slight improvement over Winters, his modest Pro Football focus grades over the past few seasons indicate that he’s no more than an average starter at best. Lewis, on the other hand, is below-average no matter how you look at it.

Sure, he performed admirably when forced into action last season. But he’s a below-average starting option at this point, and the Jets are aware of that.

Warford has spent his entire career starting at right guard and would immediately be an upgrade over the duo of Van Roten and Winters.

The former third-round pick earned an excellent 75.8 PFF grade last season that placed him eighth among all guards in the NFL. On top of that, his 76.6 run block grade was fifth among all players at his position.

And for a Jets team that struggled to do much of anything on the ground last season, that would be a massive boost. On the contrary, Van Roten struggled with his run blocking earning a lackluster 57.3 grade that placed him 41st among all guards.

Warford is a well-rounded, Pro-Bowl-caliber starting guard with no recent injury history to speak of. And at just 28-years-old, the Jets find themselves with a golden opportunity to land their best starting lineman in May.

Those opportunities don’t present themselves very often.

The Jets would likely have to cut ties with Winters and his $7 million cap hit to sign Warford, but there’s no argument that it’s not worth it.

This isn’t a situation where the Jets should just do their due diligence. General manager Joe Douglas must make every possible attempt to bring Warford to New York, he’s worth whatever payday he’ll receive.

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There is no debate here, the Jets must make a serious attempt to sign Larry Warford.

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