Connor McGovern
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

New York Jets center Connor McGovern showed every reason why Joe Douglas invested in him with an all-around gem of a performance against the Cardinals.

After a breakout season with the Broncos in 2019, Connor McGovern was signed by Joe Douglas and the Jets to a three-year, $27 million deal ($18 million guaranteed) with one mission – provide a long-term solution at center, a position where the Jets had cycled through numerous poor performers following the retirement of Nick Mangold.

At 27 years old with only 36 NFL starts under his belt and zero missed games due to injury, McGovern offered a favorable likelihood of fulfilling the entirety of his contract thanks to his prime age, limited mileage, and strong track record of durability. He seemed to be an obvious upgrade for the Jets after a quality season in which he was largely considered top-10 at his position.

Things did not start off so glowingly in New York. Over his first three games, McGovern was largely mediocre rather than the rock-solid player he was a year ago. That is a concern for not only the team’s present but its future as well. The Jets would save barely any cap space by cutting McGovern next year and would be forced to eat most of his contract as dead money ($1.3M saved, $9.3M dead money if cut after June 1, 2021), meaning he is almost guaranteed to be a starter in 2021.

If McGovern fails to turn it around, the Jets will be stuck with a subpar starter on a massive cap hit – who also happens to play a position that is integral to the development of a young quarterback. To prevent that nightmare from becoming reality, the Jets need him to rebound as quickly as possible.

Luckily, McGovern appears to be doing just that.

McGovern took some big positive steps against the Broncos in Week 4, and last Sunday against the Cardinals, he put everything together for an excellent all-around performance. He is returning to his top-10 form, slowly working towards establishing himself as one of the five long-term puzzle pieces on the offensive line.

Let’s dig into the film behind McGovern’s impressive outing against Arizona.


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