Laken Tomlinson, NY Jets, Contract, Rumor, PFF
Laken Tomlinson, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets have their eyes on the trenches in free agency

Free agency in the NFL is underway as the league’s legal tampering window opened at 12 p.m. ET on the afternoon of March 14.

The New York Jets have yet to dip their toes into the pool but reportedly have a big splash in mind for once they do jump in.

When I say big, I mean it both figuratively and literally.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini reports that the Jets are interested in three of the best free-agent offensive linemen on the market: Washington Commanders guard Brandon Scherff, San Francisco 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson, and Baltimore Ravens center Bradley Bozeman.

One of those targets is already off the board – Scherff agreed to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars after Cimini’s tweet was posted. Bozeman and Tomlinson remain available as of 1:45 p.m. ET.

Tomlinson would fill a crucial need for New York. The Jets have a vacancy at the right guard spot, as their end-of-year starter, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, is now a free agent.

Bozeman is an interesting name to throw into the hat. The center position is a spot where the Jets could conceivably get better although they do not necessarily have to get better.

New York’s starting center, Connor McGovern, remains under contract after an improved 2021 season that saw him establish himself as a solid starter. The catch is that New York can cut McGovern to clear $9 million in cap space (while eating $1.3 million in dead money).

There’s room for the Jets to improve over McGovern, and the cap room that they would get by cutting him is enticing, but a sizable chunk of that room (if not all of it) would be used to sign Bozeman if they did choose to add the former Raven.

Additionally, Bozeman may not even be a substantial upgrade over McGovern. In 2021, Bozeman ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 10th-best center out of 33 qualifiers (73.3 overall grade) while McGovern placed one spot ahead of him and ranked ninth-best with a 75.9 overall grade.

Bozeman does offer the ability to play guard. Prior to 2021, Bozeman spent the first three years of his career playing left guard for Baltimore. However, he tended to perform at a mediocre level, and it wasn’t until he moved to center that he broke out and became a top-tier player.

Stay tuned for more news and rumors as NFL free agency heats up.

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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] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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