NY Jets were 'surprised' Tyron Smith signed incredibly cheap contract

Why did Tyron Smith choose the Jets? The Jets don't even know!

Tyron Smith
Tyron Smith / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The NY Jets made a massive addition to their offensive line on Friday, signing future Hall of Fame left tackle Tyron Smith to a one-year contract. It's a deal the Jets never thought would get done.

According to SNY's Connor Hughes, "The Jets never thought Tyron Smith was possible." The Jets believed that Smith's market would be out of their price range and "well above what they were willing to pay."

However, as the days went by and Smith remained on the open market, the Jets ramped up their pursuit of the five-time All-Pro left tackle, hoping to land him at a number well below what they believed he would get.

The full details of the contract have not been revealed at the time of writing, but Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio is reporting that Smith's contract includes just $6.5 million in guarantees and comes with an additional $13.5 million in incentives.

Yes, this means the Jets are paying Smith, one of the best left tackles in the NFL, less guaranteed money than Javon Kinlaw. The Jets are just as surprised as all of us.

The NY Jets never expected to sign Tyron Smith

Florio went on to say that the Jets were very "surprised" that Smith accepted the deal. In fact, Florio reports that believed that their negotiations with Smith were "part of a leverage play" for the All-Pro left tackle to find a better offer.

Instead, he just accepted the offer to the utter surprise of the Jets' front office. The Jets landed a free agent they believed they had no chance of signing just 48 hours prior.

Smith told CBS Sports' Josina Anderson that talks between him and the Jets ramped up on Friday and that the signing essentially came out of nowhere. This was a last-minute deal by all accounts. The Jets were not involved in Smith's market earlier in the week.

While the exact specifics of Smith's contract haven't been revealed yet, it's impossible to overlook the unbelievable job general manager Joe Douglas has done to revamp his team's offensive line at a ridiculously cheap price.

Smith has just $6.5 million guaranteed on his contract. John Simpson is making just $6 million AAV on his deal. Morgan Moses' cap hit is a measly $5.5 million in 2023. That's a combined $18 million between the three of them.

Considering the fact that former Miami Dolphins offensive guard Robert Hunt, an above-average player at his position, signed for a whopping $20 million AAV this week, that's unreal value.

The Jets are paying their three new starting offensive linemen — including an All-Pro left tackle and a rock-solid starting right tackle — combined less than the going rate for an above-average guard on the open market.

It's no wonder the Jets were stunned when Smith accepted that contract. The offensive line market has exploded this offseason, but it seems many teams were simply scared away by Smith's injury history. It also doesn't help his case that this year's draft class is loaded with offensive tackle talent.

The Jets won't be complaining, however. They managed to land one of the best left tackles in the NFL at a fraction of the price they expected him to get. Joe Douglas strikes again.