The New York Jets made significant moves to improve their offensive line during the 2020 off-season, but there are several additions who shouldn’t be considered top-level starters. Players like Greg Van Roten and George Fant are fringe level starters, making the idea of bringing in more talent enticing.
There is one player on the free-agent market that could make a lot of sense for the Jets, and his name is Larry Warford. A premium level guard, Warford is a massive offense of Lyman who is freshly 29 years old. Originally from San Diego, the third-round pick by the Detroit Lions has developed into a fantastic player at the NFL level. The New Orleans Saints recently caught him due to a massive salary hit for the 2020 season. He was scheduled to earn nearly $13 million this upcoming season, and the Saints felt better releasing him and saving the cap-space.
Nonetheless, Warford has been to three straight Pro Bowls with New Orleans and is reportedly looking for a contract worth $7 million per season, according to NFL Network. The Saints elected to keep the cheaper Andrus Peat, who is also younger.
The current offensive line for the New York Jets looks like this:
LT: Mekhi Becton
LG: Greg Van Roten
C: Connor McGovern
RG: Brian Winters
RT: George Fant
This unit is far improved from the one the Jets utilized in 2019, seeing a turnover at four of the five starting positions. I don’t expect them to be a premium level offensive line right out of the gate, considering they need time to mesh and develop chemistry. Sam Darnold was sacked 33 times last season, and decreasing that number is essential if they want their third-year quarterback to excel.
With that being said, Warford is a great talent who would offer an improvement at left guard over Van Roten. Ultimately, having solid depth is another essential point for an offensive line. The Jets have suffered plenty of injuries at the position and been forced into tumultuous spots because of it. Solidifying the group and adding proven talent is a necessity.
The Jets have just under $25 million in cap space available, giving them the mobility to take a stab at Larry if they see fit.