The NY Jets' offensive line remains the team's biggest question mark entering the summer, and perhaps no position is more uncertain than the center position.
The Jets re-signed veteran Connor McGovern and drafted Wisconin's Joe Tippmann in the second round of this year's draft. The assumption has been that McGovern and Tippmann would compete for the starting center job this summer.
There's another name in the mix, however. Veteran center/guard Wes Schweitzer split first-team reps with McGovern and Tippmann this spring and is very much in the mix to start at center.
The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt recently urged fans not to sleep on Schweitzer for the starting center job. As Rosenblatt noted, Schweitzer and new Jets offensive line coach Keith Carter have experience together, dating back to their days together at San Jose State and later with the Atlanta Falcons.
While McGovern and Tippmann are still favored over Schweitzer to start, the Jets are very much making this a three-player competition.
Could Wes Schweitzer earn the NY Jets' starting center job?
The Jets signed Schweitzer to a two-year contract back in March with the goal that he could serve as valuable interior offensive line depth in 2023. Schweitzer has starting experience at both guard and center and essentially replaced Dan Feeney as the team's top backup interior lineman.
That was the assumption, at least. Now, it seems as though the Jets are prepared to give Schweitzer every opportunity to earn a starting job.
The 29-year-old has started 60 games over his six-year career, the majority of which he's spent at guard. He's graded out much better as a guard over the course of his career, although he did spend most of last season as a center with the Washington Commanders.
It won't be easy for Schweitzer to earn the starting job. McGovern has been a rock-solid starting-caliber center over the last few years, and the Jets didn't draft Tippmann to sit on the bench for long.
The most likely scenario is still either McGovern or Tippmann starting Week 1, but it is notable that the Jets are giving Schweitzer a chance. He clearly has some fans in the Jets' building, most notably the aforementioned Keith Carter.
While a lot of attention is being paid to the Jets' offensive tackle battles (rightfully so), don't overlook this intriguing three-way competition at center. We might just see a surprise contender emerge this summer.