Entering the 2023 off-season, the New York Jets have a void in the middle of their already concerning offensive line at center. After playing out his three-year contract, Connor McGovern is currently set to be a free agent next month.
McGovern, 29, turns 30 in April and certainly looks to have a few more good years in him. He did some impressive things during his tenure with the Jets, whether it be his consistent availability or run blocking. McGovern had his inconsistent moments, though, particularly in the passing game. All in all, though, he is a more than capable starting center who the Jets should by no means be ruling out an extension.
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Connor McGovern would like to stay with the New York Jets:
Over the weekend, Paul Esden of Heavy Sports shared the following on McGovern.
“I just spoke with Connor McGovern and he wanted to make it clear that he wants to continue his career with the Jets.”
It is definitely great to hear that McGovern would like to continue playing with the Jets. Over the last three years that McGovern spent with the team, he played at least 15 games each season. He somehow did not miss a game in 2020 as he battled through an injury most of that year. In 2021, McGovern only missed two games. In 2022, McGovern did not only play in all 17 games for the Jets, but he did not miss a single snap, recording a total of 1,114 snaps played on the year. Throughout his three seasons with the Jets, McGovern totaled 3,055 snaps, playing at least 969 each year.
Aside from the tremendous durability that McGovern offers, his athletic ability is another top trait of his. McGovern’s athleticism is particularly able to be seen in some of his work in the running game. With Nathaniel Hackett coming in as the offensive coordinator and likely keeping a lot of the Jets’ wide zone running concepts in place, it certainly makes keeping McGovern enticing.
As I noted a week and a half ago, there are a select few free-agent centers that are potentially viable for the Jets. Whether they be younger or cheaper than McGovern for a Jets team tight against the budget. That being said, the depth at the position group set to hit the market is not really there, making McGovern someone the Jets should remain interested in.
McGovern seems positioned to land a contract similar to the one he got from the Jets in 2020. He agreed to a three-year deal worth $27 million with $18 million guaranteed. McGovern is still 29, coming up on his age 30 season, which will be his eighth in the NFL. As mentioned in the introduction, McGovern should have another two to three years of good ball left. It looks probable that he will land another deal in the eight to 10 million dollars a year range.
What will be interesting is for a Jets team that is a bit strapped financially, what their maximum price tag is in a potential contract proposal to McGovern. The interest between the Jets and McGovern in keeping their partnership may be mutual, but could McGovern price himself out with a bigger deal elsewhere? Unfortunately, if the Jets have a hard budget set, it could be the case.
Whether the Jets and McGovern re-up for a fourth year and beyond is still unknown. Also, whether or not the Jets have interest in retaining McGovern has yet to be confirmed. But the good thing is that a player who proved himself to always be available for an offensive line crushed by injuries a year ago does want to ultimately return. It will be fascinating to see how McGovern’s free agency plays out in a month.