NY Jets release OL Laken Tomlinson in somewhat surprising move

Laken Tomlinson has been released!
Laken Tomlinson
Laken Tomlinson / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets already planned to add multiple new offensive linemen this offseason. Now, they'll be searching for as many as three new starters following the release of Laken Tomlinson.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported on Monday that the Jets are releasing the nine-year NFL veteran in a move that will save the team $8.1 million in cap space. Tomlinson's cap hit was set to be over $18 million in 2024, so the expectation was that the Jets would make some sort of move.

Some believed that the Jets would restructure the contract of the ultra-durable Tomlinson, giving the team a little extra security along the offensive line heading into an offseason of expected change.

In the end, the Jets simply cut bait with Tomlinson, who fell well short of reaching the lofty expectations of his massive contract. Add another hole to the Jets' starting lineup.

What the Laken Tomlinson release means for the NY Jets

The Jets originally signed Tomlinson to a three-year, $40 million contract prior to the 2022 season. The former first-round pick was fresh off a Pro Bowl season with the San Francisco 49ers and was seen as a home-run addition for a Jets team searching for offensive line reinforcements.

While Tomlinson stayed healthy, starting all 34 games with the Jets, his performance on the field left a lot to be desired. Tomlinson allowed a career-worst 51 pressures in 2023, the worst among all offensive guards.

His Pro Football Focus grades dropped from 78.8 and 73.6 in 2020 and 2021, respectively, to 56.8 and 55.0 in his two seasons with the Jets. Tomlinson just didn't live up to his contract.

The Jets do save a good chunk of money with this release, but they also take on over $11 million in dead cap space. The contract was an all-around disaster for the organization.

The Jets are already expected to add two new starting offensive tackles this offseason. Now, with Tomlinson gone, they'll be searching for a new left guard as well.