NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Jets vowed to fix their offensive line this offseason. Three days before the start of free agency, they’re off to a good start.
According to an ESPN report, the Jets have reached an agreement on a trade with the Oakland Raiders for veteran guard Kelechi Osemele. New York will reportedly send a fifth-round pick to Oakland and also receive a sixth-round selection. The deal won’t become official until the new league year starts on Wednesday.
The Jets were expected to address center and left guard in free agency, so the trade solves one of their problems. Osemele, 29, who made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017, has two years remaining on the five-year, $60 million deal he signed with Oakland as a free agent. The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder will make $10.2 million and $11.7 million in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
A second-round pick in the 2012 draft by Baltimore, Osemele won a Super Bowl with the Ravens as a rookie. He started every game at right tackle before moving to left guard to replace the injured Jah Reid in the postseason. He was limited to seven games the following year because of a back injury, but started 28 games over the next two seasons for the Ravens.
Osemele will likely replace veteran James Carpenter, who turns 30 later this month and is coming off a shoulder injury that limited him to 10 games last season. Osemele will join a Jets line that already includes right tackle Brandon Shell, right guard Brian Winters and left tackle Kelvin Beachum.
The Jets are beefing up their line in the hope of providing the best protection for second-year quarterback Sam Darnold and to convince top skill position free agents to sign on the dotted line. New York is reportedly interested in running backs Le’Veon Bell and, to a lesser extent, Tevin Coleman.
The Jets are also re-signing Jonotthan Harrison, who started the final seven games of the 2018 season at center when Spencer Long struggled with injuries and consistency. But it’s uncertain whether Harrison is in new coach Adam Gase’s plans as the starter moving forward. Long was released last month after just one season with the Jets and has since signed with Buffalo.
New York, which has an estimated $100 million in salary cap space, reportedly has centers Matt Paradis and Mitch Morse high on its wish list in free agency.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)