Three ways the Jets can fix their offensive line this offseason

New York Jets running back Travis Dye (35) follows the block by center Joe Tippmann (66) during the second half against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

One of the major problems that the New York Jets had last season was how awful the offensive line was. After all, it was the main reason why Aaron Rodgers got hurt as poor blocking from Duane Brown resulted in Rodgers being sacked and subsequently injuring his Achilles.

Say what you want about Zach Wilson, and yes he was awful last season, but he got no favors from his offensive line. It also did not help that injuries showcased how poor the Jets’ depth was. This offseason, the Jets need to fix this offensive line once and for all.

3. Reuniting Aaron Rodgers with more of his former teammates

This is the option most Jets fans hope does not happen — especially with how much of a disaster last season was. Almost every addition Rodgers helped make in free agency last offseason did not work. When looking at the offensive line, Billy Turner comes to mind — and he was awful every snap he was on the field.

Doubling down on this strategy and bringing in Rodgers’ best friends would be a tremendous mistake and another example of this franchise never learning its lessons from previous mistakes.

There are rumors of the Jets potentially bringing in tackle David Bakhtiari, who is a close friend and former teammate of Rodgers. Bakhtiari’s injury history makes him a risky potential signing. The only positive here is making Rodgers happy, but this signing would result in a complete repeat of the issues that plagued the Jets last season.

2. The Jets need to invest in veteran free agents

The Jets opened the offseason with $27 million in cap space, which is a solid amount to work with when investing in free agents. That number has decreased, though, as the Jets have begun investing in free-agent offensive linemen. They signed veteran guard John Simpson to a two-year deal worth up to $18 million.

The Jets should continue investing that cap space into the offensive line. There are still some viable veteran options available, such as Tyron Smith, Trent Brown, Andrus Peat, Donovan Smith, and others.

At guard, Simpson will serve as a replacement for Laken Tomlinson, who was released earlier this offseason. At center they could use some depth as that position was derailed by injuries in 2023. Investing in this free agency class could be key in fixing the offensive line.

1. The Jets could find talent in the 2024 NFL Draft

Investing in the 2024 NFL Draft class is a much stronger and more attractive pool of talent in comparison to the free agency class. There are a lot of talented prospects available in this year’s draft class on the offensive line.

At tackle, there are rich options to pick from, including Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Alabama’s JC Latham, Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga, and Georgia’s Amarius Mims, among others.

At guard, Washington’s Troy Fautanu, Duke’s Graham Barton, and Kansas State’s Cooper Beebe are intriguing options. Even at center, there are options with Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson, Michigan’s Zach Frazier, and Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, among others.

The Jets have plenty of options to help build this offensive line in the draft and they could easily take a few of them and develop them. It worked well with Joe Tippmann when the Jets drafted him last year if you excluded the injuries he had last season.

The point is, that the Jets have endless options to build the offensive line, whether it’s through the draft, free agency, or the trade market. No matter what, the Jets have to make this offensive line better as it makes or breaks an offense as a whole. It broke the offense last season and the Jets have to ensure that does not happen again in 2024.

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