NY Jets reportedly could pursue star guard Joe Thuney in free agency

NY Jets, Joe Thuney Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Joe Thuney Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets are expected to be much more aggressive in free agency this offseason than they were a year ago. And one notable name they could pursue is star guard Joe Thuney.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reported on Thursday that the Jets could show interest in Thuney this offseason. Pauline stated that “it will come down to money offered and the contract,” but he did make note of the Jets’ cap space.

He ended the report by saying, “draw your own conclusions.”

It sure seems as though the Jets will target Thuney, so long as the price is right. And given the rumors that they planned to do so last year before he was franchise tagged, this should hardly come as a surprise.

Joe Thuney makes a ton of sense for the NY Jets

Thuney has been one of the NFL’s best guards for a number of years now. Originally a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2016 NFL Draft, Thuney immediately stepped in as a day-one starter on their offensive line.

And he’s never looked back.

Incredibly, Thuney has never missed a game in his NFL career having started 80 consecutive games through five seasons. He is New England’s resident iron man, and that durability has come with impressive on-field play as well.

The 28-year-old has been ranked as a top-12 guard in the entire league by Pro Football Focus in each of the past four years. Two of those seasons, he was ranked in the top-six at his position.

Few linemen in the league had been as consistently good and durable over the past half-decade as Thuney. As such, he’s expected to be one of the most coveted names on the market if the Patriots can’t re-sign him.

Anticipating his market exploding in the coming months, New England opted to tag Thuney in 2020 and retain him for another year. The Jets were expected to be among the top suitors for the former NC State standout.

But this offseason, a tag doesn’t seem to be a reasonable option. That means the two sides will have to come to terms on an extension, something that doesn’t seem incredibly likely.

The Jets will be looking to upgrade their interior offensive line this offseason with the duo of Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten both on expendable contracts. Thuney would undoubtedly provide an upgrade over either, but he’d more likely replace Lewis at his natural left guard position.

Joe Thuney is everything Jets general manager Joe Douglas looks for in a player. Outstanding production, highly-regarded leader, and an unprecedented streak of durability.

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He is the total package. And if he hits the open market, expect the Jets to be very interested.