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Will Laurent Duvernay-Tardif return to the New York Jets?

One of the most notable New York Jets players set to hit free agency in the 2022 offseason is veteran guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The 30-year-old (he’ll turn 31 on Feb. 11) was a spark plug for the Jets offensive line after being acquired in a mid-season trade and starting seven games.

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets are expected to have interest in retaining Duvernay-Tardif, although they will likely not be overly aggressive in the pursuit.

“Duvernay-Tardif isn’t a long-term answer, but you can win with him. Look for them to take a wait-and-see approach,” Cimini writes in a Thursday report.

Duvernay-Tardif was acquired from Kansas City in exchange for tight end Daniel Brown ahead of the Jets’ Week 9 game against the Colts. He would make his Jets debut in Week 10 on special teams and would make his first start the following week against the Miami Dolphins, replacing Greg Van Roten at right guard.

The right guard spot is the only gaping hole on the Jets’ offensive line entering the offseason. New York has returning starters at left guard and center in Alijah Vera-Tucker and Connor McGovern, respectively. The team also has two starting-caliber tackles in Mekhi Becton and George Fant, though their exact roles are undetermined as the duo is expected to compete for the left tackle spot.

There are many different ways the Jets could go about trying to fill that right guard spot. With $48.1 million in cap space, per Over The Cap (fifth-most in the NFL), the Jets could begin free agency by pursuing a top-end free agent guard like Brandon Scherff, Connor Williams, or Laken Tomlinson with the plan to fall back on Duvernay-Tardif if they fail to reel in a big fish.

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However, Duvernay-Tardif showed he still has starter-quality ability in 2021, so he will likely field competitive offers from other teams early in the free-agency period. He might not last long enough for the Jets to use him as a fallback.

It’s also possible New York simply decides to pursue Duvernay-Tardif with the idea of penciling him in as the starting right guard, aiming to build upon the late-season momentum the offensive line was building near the end of 2021.

Another possibility is the Jets moving McGovern to guard and adding a new center. McGovern played right guard for the Broncos over his first two NFL seasons.

The draft is another factor in all of this. When the Jets come on the clock at No. 4 in the first round, it’s very possible their selection could be an offensive lineman; likely Alabama’s Evan Neal or North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu. Both players were tackles in 2021 but appear capable of kicking inside to guard. Additionally, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is considered one of the best prospects at his position in recent memory and could be in play with the Jets’ No. 10 pick.

There are certainly a vast number of directions the Jets could go with the offensive line over the coming months. Duvernay-Tardif is one of the most important chess pieces in the equation.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Bruno
Bruno
9 months ago

If Tomlinson shakes free from the niners ,the Jets need to absolutely be in on him. An above average guard at 30 years old has life left in him and can play that position for multiple years. 3 year deal easy. 8 mil range and I would consider backloading the deal into 2023 when the cap rises. His impact on this line would be dare I say Faneca level . Knows this OLine coach very well, instant plug and play and becomes the vet leader that ties it all together . Adds a winners mentality.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

I like your thoughts on Tomlinson, how much of an upgrade do you think he is over LDT? They are about the same age, Larry played in the system last year and the Jets ran the ball well to the right side over the final 8 games. I like the “winner mentality” LDT has a super bowl. if you had your choice of the two which guy would you sign?

Bruno
Bruno
9 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

Tomlinson, easy choice. Guy is an above 75 grade every year in run and pass. Has played for are Oline coach every year but this year in Sanfran. Tomlinson is a big upgrade over LDT. If you sign Tomlinson the line I would runout is Fant at LT ,Avt LG ,McG ,Tomlinson RG and Becton RT.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

I like it. They may have plans for Ekwonu with the 4th pick if they are forced to make a choice, which could impact their FA plans. I also think it’s worth re-signing Moses as insurance for Becton even if they have to pay a bit more for a year.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago

I think they should keep him even if they do draft one of the OL in the draft, not Neal I hope. Ekwonu is becoming more appealing to me if they have to pick at #4. You mentioned the cap space, that’s also before any cuts. I think this is the year to splurge more on the OL. Sign Larry and draft someone, I’m hoping for Zion Johnson. Zach being so young and the OL being so important to the offense as a whole they can’t have too many quality OL’s.

dudizt
dudizt
9 months ago

Hey Michael, what are your thoughts about James Daniel’s in FA? I think he’s young, ascending (despite a few bad games last year), and a perfect scheme fit.

JetOrange
JetOrange
9 months ago

It’s all about timing, Free Agency begins March 16th. LDT’s future needs to be determined before the draft.Like always everything depends on price, could take GVR’s salary