The Jets may have their starting interior offensive line trio set.
The #Jets and free-agent OL Greg Van Roten have agreed to terms on a contract, per source. Another starting OL added
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) March 21, 2020
Van Roten just turned 30 years old in February. A native of Rockville Centre, NY, and an alum of Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY, Van Roten figures to fill a starting guard spot opposite Alex Lewis – who will take which side remains to seen, as neither player has started at right guard in the NFL. As of right now, it appears the Jets will have a starting interior offensive line featuring Lewis, Van Roten, and Connor McGovern (center).
A graduate of Pennsylvania, Van Roten signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He played sparingly in his rookie season and bounced around the football world afterward. From 2013-16, Van Roten spent time with Green Bay, Seattle, Jacksonville, and Carolina without ever playing in a regular season game. He played with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts from 2015-16.
Van Roten finally cracked a roster in 2017, playing 10 games for the Panthers as a backup guard and center (only 10 offensive snaps) while blocking for the field goal/extra point protection team. In 2018, Van Roten got his shot, starting all 16 games at left guard for the Panthers. He maintained the role in 2019, starting 11 games until he went on injured reserve with a dislocated toe.
Van Roten is no world-beater, but he has generally been a decent starter. He took a big leap as a pass-protector in 2019, even with the anemic Kyle Allen taking most of the snaps at quarterback.
There is still a ton of work to be done. Van Roten is not a long-term answer. Arguably, the only man that the Jets have upfront who could conceivably be starting for them in three years is Connor McGovern.
Nevertheless, Douglas deserves credit for how aggressively he has attacked the team’s greatest weakness. It looks like the Jets could potentially have an average or slightly above-average interior trio in 2020 if all three can remain healthy.