The NY Jets went into the free-agency period eyeing some of the big names on the offensive line market. But less than one day in, it seems as though both Joe Thuney and Corey Linsley are expected to sign elsewhere.
The first domino to fall was Thuney who reportedly signed a massive five-year, $80 million deal to join the Kansas City Chiefs. Then, less than an hour later, Linsley reportedly signed on with the Los Angeles Chargers to the tune of a hefty five-year, $62.5 million contract.
In the span of one hour, arguably the two top players remaining on the market — both at one of the Jets’ biggest positions of need — were gone.
The Jets will now look to the second-tier of free agents where upgrades can still be found, but it’s hard not to be disappointed with this development.
The NY Jets missed out on both Joe Thuney and Corey Linsley
Given the Jets’ major need on the interior offensive line, the Jets were expected to be major players for both Thuney and Linsley. But in the end, they came away with neither.
For Thuney, it’s hard to argue they could have done anything differently.
The standout guard elected to join arguably the best team in football to block for the best quarterback in the NFL, and he did so at a rate of $16 million per season.
The Jets, or any team for that matter, were never going to top that. You just can’t compete with that offer.
General manager Joe Douglas was reportedly very interested in Thuney and the Jets were likely one of the final teams in the running. But when the Chiefs offer you $16 million per season, you take it. No questions asked.
As for Linsley, it appears as though the Jets may not have been as interested as previously thought. SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reported that the Jets “didn’t make a serious effort” to sign Linsley indicating that he was never one of their top targets.
Douglas and the Jets could have been concerned with Linsley’s age as he turns 30-years-old in July and the fact that he’s coming off a fairly significant knee injury.
Making him the highest-paid center in football was never something they were likely to do.
The Jets will now shift their attention to players like David Andrews and Austin Reiter who could serve as upgrades and come at a cheaper price.
A disappointing development, but not one that’s surprising given the offers Thuney and Linsley received.