(CBSNewYork)– It is a big offseason for the New York Jets and general manager Joe Douglas is focused on upgrading the team’s offensive line in free agency.
The Jets offensive line allowed 52 sacks last year with only the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, and Miami Dolphins allowing more. Shoring up the line in front of franchise quarterback Sam Darnold is one of the many reasons why the team signed former Denver Broncos center Connor McGovern to a three year, $27 million deal.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 17, 2020
McGovern was a three year starter for the Broncos and the New Jets center will get $18 million guaranteed. Since the retirement of Nick Mangold, the Jets have struggled to find a consistent center. Guys like Jonotthan Harrison and Ryan Kalil have failed to hold down the position. McGovern played every snap of the 2019 season and remarkably didn’t commit a single penalty all year for the Broncos.
In addition to McGovern, the Jets also reached a deal with former Seattle Seahawks’ offensive lineman George Fant. The deal is reportedly for three years and $30 million, and includes $13.7 million in guaranteed money for Fant. New York will have the option of cutting ties with Fant after one year with only $9 million going towards the 2020 cap. Fant figures to compete for a job with last year’s rookie tackle Chuma Edoga and an incoming rookie from the 2020 class with many experts pegging the Jets as a landing spot for one of the “big four” offensive tackles with their 11th overall pick in this year’s draft.
The Jets also announced that they are bringing back guard Alex Lewis on a three year, $18.6 million deal. Lewis stepped in last year to start the final 12 games of the season after he replaced Kelechi Osemele at guard. Douglas traded for Lewis back in 2019 and the guard’s contract only has $6 million in guaranteed money.
In 2019, the Jets finished 32nd in total offense and 31st in rushing yards while dealing with a bevy of missed games from key contributors as well as a general lack of talent on the offensive line. With Joe Douglas’ own history as an offensive lineman, the first-year GM is already putting his plan into effect to bolster next year’s production by starting in the trenches. As free agency continues the Jets also continue to be in negotiations to bring back receiver Robby Anderson and will likely target a corner and pass rusher as well. Former Titan Logan Ryan and edge rusher Vinny Curry are names to keep an eye on for fans of Gang Green.