NY Jets targeting La'el Collins as a potential OL upgrade

The Jets brought in La'el Collins for a visit
NY Jets, La'el Collins
NY Jets, La'el Collins / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The NY Jets are searching for answers following a season-ending torn Achilles suffered by star offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker, and they may have found one in the form of La'el Collins.

The Jets reportedly brought Collins in for a visit on Tuesday, per the NFL's transaction wire. The former Dallas Cowboys lineman is arguably the top free agent available at any position.

Collins started 15 games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022 before suffering a torn ACL that cut his season short. After spending the offseason rehabbing, the Bengals released Collins from their injured reserve last month.

Collins is reportedly healthy and ready to return to action, with the expectation that he would receive interest from a number of NFL teams. The Jets, and subsequently the Giants, are the first two teams to bring him in for a visit.

La'el Collins would be a splash addition for the NY Jets

With Vera-Tucker now out for the season, the Jets have a few options to consider as they look to replace their star lineman. The most obvious solution is to turn to internal options like Max Mitchell and Billy Turner.

Mitchell appears to be the odds-on favorite to replace Vera-Tucker after he filled in for him on Sunday. Duane Brown could also return from the injured reserve as early as Week 8, but that might require the Jets to move Mekhi Becton back to right tackle.

Evidently, the Jets are also exploring their external options. Collins is the most high-profile name on the market, and he comes with ample experience at a high level.

In 15 starts last season, Collins finished with a below-average 57.9 Pro Football Focus grade, although he graded out well as a run blocker. He's also just two years removed from an excellent 2021 campaign with the Dallas Cowboys.

Collins has played exclusively at right tackle since 2017, although he spent the first two years of his NFL career at left guard. It's likely the Jets would use him at the former position.

The Jets aren't just resting on their laurels with their current roster. They're actively seeking external upgrades. La'el Collins would be a significant addition for the Jets at this stage of the season.