Van Roten had served as the Jets' starting right guard for the better part of the last two years, but after losing his starting job in the middle of last season, his roster spot became a bit less secure.
His release wasn't exactly a surprise, however, despite this, the Jets haven't shut the door on him returning. Head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media on Saturday, and when asked about Van Roten's release, he insisted the team "would love to have him back."
Saleh indicated that Van Roten could have starting opportunities on the open market and hinted at that being the primary reason for his release. It sounded like if Van Roten couldn't find a more intriguing landing spot in free agency, he might just return to the Jets after all.
The NY Jets might just re-sign Greg Van Roten in the near future
Van Roten joined the Jets in the 2020 offseason on a meager three-year, $10.5 million contract. He would go on to start 13 games in his first season with the team, serving as a below-average starting guard.
He took a step back in 2021, however, and following the midseason trade for Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Van Roten soon lost his starting job. At the time of his benching, Van Roten had allowed 32 pressures in nine starts — a figure that ranked dead-last among right guards.
Van Roten wasn't really a starting-caliber player last year, but given his experience and the poor quality of offensive line play around the league, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a team give him a crack at a starting job.
At worst, Van Roten is still a rock-solid backup guard whether most fans want to believe it or not. He was also a beloved member of the Jets' locker room as someone who was well-liked by his teammates and the coaching staff.
Saleh's words weren't insincere. Cutting Van Roten was a difficult decision for the Jets, although it was worth saving the $3.5 million that they did.
If Van Roten isn't able to find a starting opportunity, there remains a good chance that the Jets opt to bring him back on a lesser salary. More offensive line depth is never a bad thing.