Jets cut offensive lineman to create $8.1M in cap space but increase offensive line void

New York Jets guard Laken Tomlinson (78) looks on during an injury time out during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets made a move to clear up cap space heading into the 2024 NFL season. The Jets cut bait with starting guard Laken Tomlinson on Tuesday, saving them $8.1 million in the process, as Jared Schwartz of the New York Post reported.

Jets felt that Laken Tomlinson’s production did not match his upcoming salary

Tomlinson would have entered the third and final year of his three-year, $40 million deal signed back in 2022. Instead, he’ll be up for the taking in the free agent market this upcoming spring.

In 2023, Tomlinson earned a 55.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. Though he was poor at preventing sacks, allowing seven on the year, he kept his penalties down to three which ranked No. 73 at his position.

The Jets will have to find a replacement for Tomlinson this offseason. With the 2024 NFL Draft just under two months away, the Jets could fortify their offensive line with the No. 10 overall pick or in later rounds.

Where the Jets’ O-Line lies as spring training approaches

As it stands, New York is running thin with Alijah Vera-Tucker and Joe Tippmann as two returning starters on the roster. Had it not been for the New York Giants, Washington Commanders, and Carolina Panthers, the Jets’ 64 sacks allowed would have led the NFL last year. They also gave fill-in QB Zach Wilson 2.91 seconds to throw.

Tomlinson’s absence will necessitate reinforcements to ensure that starting QB Aaron Rodgers will be best protected to wage a Super Bowl run and play up to his All-Pro level in 2024.

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