It seems to be a possibility. As reported by uSTADIUM on Friday, the Jets are looking to improve the interior of their offensive line, and that could include the center position. They finished the report off by stating they "wouldn’t assume Connor McGovern will 100% return."
This comes as a mild surprise given that McGovern legitimately played well in 2021. Following a disappointing 2020 campaign, the former Denver Broncos center was a quality starter, but the Jets might be looking for an upgrade.
It helps that McGovern's contract is relatively easy to get out of with little in dead cap. The Jets could explore a move that would see them cut ties with McGovern and add his replacement, either via free agency or the 2022 NFL Draft.
Would the NY Jets really consider moving on from Connor McGovern?
The Jets signed McGovern to a three-year, $27 million contract prior to the start of the 2020 season looking to find their long-term solution at the center position.
McGovern's first season in New York didn't go as planned as the Missouri product finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of 62.2 that ranked 23rd out of all centers in football. It was a steep drop-off in production from his final year in Denver.
However, the Jets believed that McGovern would improve drastically in the team's new zone-blocking scheme. They were right.
McGovern's 75.9 PFF grade was not only a career-best, but it ranked as the ninth-best center in the NFL. At least as far as PFF is concerned, McGovern was a top-10 center in 2021.
That said, the Jets know that McGovern is entering the final year of his contract and will carry a cap hit of $10.33 million, making him one of the more expensive players on the roster. If he were to be released, the Jets could save $9 million in cap space with only a $1.33 dead cap charge.
If the opportunity presents itself, it's feasible that the Jets could look to find McGovern's replacement either in free agency or the draft. A player like Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum has long been touted as a possible draft target for the Jets, and the team reportedly met with him at the NFL Combine.
It remains to be seen if Connor McGovern will be playing for the Jets in 2021. If you were placing bets, I'd put money on him staying, but the Jets are at least exploring their options.