NY Jets release Brian Winters after seven years with the team

NY Jets, Brian Winters (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Brian Winters (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have released long-tenured offensive guard Brian Winters.

The NY Jets have reportedly released veteran offensive guard Brian Winters bringing an end to his seven-year tenure with the organization.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets have cut Winters thus clearing over $7 million in cap space. On top of that, this allows the veteran to search for a new job before the start of the season.

And as Schefter speculated, Winters isn’t expected to be without a job for too long.

Winters has served as a starter along the Jets’ offensive line for the better part of the last seven years — the last five of which have been at right guard.

However, the addition of free-agent signing Greg Van Roten in the offseason seemed to indicate that Winters’ time in the starting lineup may have been coming to an end.

Evidently that turned out to be true.

In actuality, it’s a little surprising that Winters remained on the roster for this long. The 29-year-old faced an uphill battle competing with Van Roten for the starting job in training camp and it’s unlikely the Jets would have kept him on the roster as a backup given his salary.

Many expected Winters to be an offseason cap casualty, but it took the Jets until early August to finally pull the trigger.

Winters’ last couple of seasons with the Jets have been marred by injuries, but many will forget that the Kent State product was actually a pretty solid starter not too long ago.

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Unfortunately, injuries and age have taken their toll and the Jets haven’t really seen a fully-healthy Winters in a few years now.

Perhaps he could rediscover that success from a few years ago with a new team. Provided he stays healthy, it’s certainly plausible.

But for the Jets, it was clearly time to move on.

Brian Winters’ departure from the NY Jets’ organization was long overdue.

Winters started just nine games in 2019 earning a subpar 62.4 grade from Pro Football Focus. In fact, the last time Winters could be considered a truly above-average starter was the 2016 season when he received a very solid 70.5 grade from PFF.

Since then, however, he hasn’t topped a single-season grade of 66.0.

Winters was the Jets’ longest-tenured member of the roster having been with the team since the 2013 season. But now with his departure, the player who’s been on the Jets the longest is wide receiver Quincy Enunwa.

Excluding Enunwa who will likely never play a game for the Jets again, the longest-tenured members of the roster are nose tackle Steve McLendon and outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins. Each has played just four seasons with the organization.

Winters’ release was a long time coming and he hasn’t played at a quality level for a while. But that shouldn’t take away from the accomplishment that is starting seven years with a team.

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