NY Jets advised to replace Joe Tippmann with nonsensical free-agent signing

No...the Jets aren't replacing Joe Tippmann
Joe Tippmann
Joe Tippmann / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

You know we're in the thick of the NFL offseason when there are articles and stories advising the NY Jets to bench one of their young, promising core pieces for an injured veteran who might not even play this season.

Bleacher Report's Matt Holder recently released an article listing one move every NFL team "needs to" make before the start of the 2024 season. While the premise is already shaky, the suggestion laid out for the Jets is both absurd and completely unrealistic.

Holder insisted the Jets need to sign free-agent offensive lineman Connor Williams with the hope that he could replace Joe Tippmann as the team's starting center. Yes, evidently center is one of the Jets' biggest needs according to Holder.

The assertion is that Williams would give the Jets a "more seasoned veteran" instead of relying on a second-year starter, who performed quite well in the role last season, in a Super Bowl or bust campaign.

Needless to say, this won't be happening for a variety of reasons.

Joe Tippmann is the NY Jets' center of the present and future

A second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Tippmann took over the starting center job midseason following an injury to Connor McGovern, and while the Jets' offensive line struggled mightily due to injuries, Tippmann was one of the lone bright spots.

Tippmann allowed a pressure rate of just 3.3 percent in 10 games at center, above average for the position in 2023. The Wisconsin product was somewhere around a league-average starting center in his rookie season — a significant accomplishment given the lack of talent around him.

The Jets obviously have no plans to bench Tippmann anytime soon, and he's viewed internally as a building block on offense. It shouldn't take a genius to figure out that he's not going anywhere.

As for Williams, the former Miami Dolphins standout was legitimately very impressive at center last season, earning a stellar 86.5 Pro Football Focus grade before suffering a serious season-ending knee injury in December.

That knee injury is the reason he remains a free agent. An update provided by his agent Drew Rosenhaus in March suggested that Williams was nowhere near ready to return. Rosenhaus insisted that Williams was focused on his rehab for the time being.

It seems unlikely that Williams will be ready to play in time for Week 1, and even when/if he returns, there's no guarantee he'll be able to return immediately to his pre-injury form. That doesn't exactly sound like a smart win-now move. One might even suggest Tippmann is the better option (because he is).

The Jets aren't going to bench their promising second-year center, who already played at a league-average level last season, for a veteran free agent who might not even play due to injury in 2024.

Perhaps the Jets could still use some interior offensive line depth. Bringing back Connor McGovern is very much a possibility at this stage.

But Tippmann is the starting center, and if the Jets are going to make a depth addition, they're probably going to sign someone who will be available come Week 1. That's not Connor Williams.