While we all wait with bated breath to see who the NY Jets will anoint as QB1 in 2023, there are a few other holes on the roster for Joe Douglas and company to address this offseason as well.
This team is much better now than when Douglas inherited it in 2019, but he still has plenty of work to do if the Jets will end the longest playoff drought in the league next year.
Let's dive into the five most obvious holes on the roster and offer some plausible suggestions on how to fix each of these needs.
1. The NY Jets need to address center
We start with the only position in which the Jets literally have zero guys under contract, center on the offensive line. Between Kevin Mawae and Nick Mangold, the Jets have been set with an elite center for nearly 20 years (1998-2016) but since then they haven't been so lucky.
After failing to get Ryan Kalil to turn back the clock in 2019, Joe Douglas signed Connor McGovern to a three-year deal in 2020 in which he played admirably in the 2020 and 2021 seasons before a surprisingly down year, despite being one of only two offensive linemen to play every game for the Jets this season.
They could try to convert one of the guards they currently have on the roster to play center — the Broncos did just that with McGovern himself when their starter fell to injury in 2018. McGovern had a very good first year as a center in 2019 and used that to secure a three-year deal with Gang Green.
Re-signing McGovern is an option but will be difficult because he is likely looking for a raise from the $9 million annually he was earning on his last deal. For a player that has been inconsistent and is turning 30 in two months, this seems like a gamble from a GM who has no room for error this offseason.
The Jets could also look elsewhere for a solution. Based on the data from Spotrac there are a few guys who could command a similar market to McGovern, but a player like Ethan Pocic (27) or Bradley Bozeman (28) offers more upside.
If not, there's always the 2023 NFL Draft. Teams have had recent success drafting starting-caliber offensive linemen on Day 2, including the Jets, who received a great effort from Max Mitchell at offensive tackle when he was thrown into the fire last year.
This is the cheapest option, and for Joe Douglas, a former lineman himself who rose to prominence as a talent scout, this could be the absolute best option possible. If he is confident in his scouting team, this would give the Jets an affordable young center on the roster for the next few years.