5 bargain free agents the NY Jets could sign before 2023 NFL Draft

NY Jets, Kwon Alexander
NY Jets, Kwon Alexander / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The NY Jets could sign C Ben Jones

The Jets still don't have a starting center on their roster. The team did sign veterans Wes Schweitzer and Trystan Colon in free agency, but neither player should project as a Week 1 starter.

There is a chance that the Jets are able to find their Week 1 and long-term starting center in the 2023 NFL Draft. Prospects such as John Michael Schmitz, Joe Tippmann, and Luke Wypler have all been connected to the team in recent mock drafts.

However, it might not be wise for the Jets to go into the draft without a backup plan. What if the Jets miss on their preferred center options? It might make sense to sign a veteran before the draft.

The most obvious and attractive option remaining on the free-agent market is Pro Bowl center Ben Jones. Jones was a surprise release earlier this offseason as his seven-year career in Tennessee came to a somewhat abrupt end.

The 33-year-old has long been one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the NFL, and he finally received his due credit when he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2022.

Jones has been the model of consistency and reliability over the last decade, having earned a PFF grade above 70.0 in every season since his rookie year. He's also surrendered just two sacks on 1,557 pass-block snaps over the last two seasons.

A fallback option for the Jets could be to just re-sign the incumbent Connor McGovern, who remains a free agent. Jones, however, has a much higher upside and has experience with new offensive line coach Keith Carter.

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Ben Jones should be at the top of the Jets' free-agent priority list as we approach the 2023 NFL Draft.