NY Jets: Joe Thuney must be the top priority in free agency

NY Jets, Joe Thuney (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Joe Thuney (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets need help on the offensive line, specifically at the guard position. And standout New England Patriots’ offensive lineman Joe Thuney is the perfect fit.

The Jets have been here before.

While roaming the free-agent market last offseason, the Jets decided to settle for low-budget, low-end starters at the guard position. The team re-signed Alex Lewis to a three-year, $18.6 million deal to continue occupying the left guard spot.

The Jets then poached former Panthers’ guard Greg Van Roten away from Carolina in free agency, and rewarded him with a three-year deal, similar to what Lewis received, totaling out to $14.25 million with incentives to play opposite of Alex Lewis at right guard.

Neither will likely start for the Jets this upcoming season, nonetheless be on the team in 2021.

The Jets still have their work cut out for them in regards to the offensive line. The team could use two new starting guards, and potentially a right tackle if they feel the need to move on from George Fant who, if cut, would save approximately $8 million against the cap.

One player that should immediately be considered is Patriots’ guard Joe Thuney.

The NY Jets must make Joe Thuney a top priority

The Jets were heavily intrigued by the idea of Thuney potentially hitting the open market last offseason, and were reportedly willing to back up the brinks truck for Thuney to bring his talents to New York.

New England ended up placing the franchise tag on Thuney, blocking the Jets from potentially adding him to their starting five.

The Jets are sitting in the same position a year later. Except this time, with New York expected to have upwards of $80 million in cap room, the Patriots aren’t expected to retain Thuney by any means, and he’ll hit the open market for the first time in his six-year career.

The Jets should be ready to pounce.

Thuney, 28, isn’t the type of player that hits free-agency all that often. He’s durable, reliable, and an elite pass-blocker and run-blocker. Thuney’s market value is projected at $15.3 million per year over five years, according to Spotrac.

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The Jets can easily afford to bring him along to pair with an already intriguing offensive line group, that would only improve under Thuney’s services.