Larry Ogunjobi, NY Jets, Bengals
Larry Ogunjobi, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Getty Images

A New York Jets free agent target goes off the board

Larry Ogunjobi, the ex-Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle, has signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

The dollar amount of the contract is yet to be released. One would assume that it was more than what Joe Douglas offered him. Ogunjobi met with the New York Jets early in May, and it was reported that the Jets were very interested in him. However, later in the month, it was further reported that Douglas had offered him a “take it or leave it” contract.

While the Jets are in need of interior defensive line help, that is primarily for run-stopping purposes, which is not Ogunjobi’s strength. Ogunjobi posted a woeful Pro Football Focus run-defense grade of 38.9 against the run last season, and he has trended downward against the run in each successive season he’s been in the league.

The Jets have a pair of above-average and potentially elite interior pass-rushers in Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers. Sheldon Rankins and Solomon Thomas both bring value as rushers from the inside of the line. What the Jets do not have is that big run-stopper in the middle.

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Interestingly, Pittsburgh is signing Ogunjobi at least partially for his value as a run defender. The Steelers were one of the worst teams in the league against the run last season, allowing a league-high 24 rushes of 20+ yards (the Jets were tied for second-worst, allowing 16 such runs). There is an assumption that with better coaching, Ogunjobi will be able to return to his stronger run-stopping days from earlier in his career.

As a pass rusher, Ogunjobi will certainly bring value to Pittsburgh. He had seven sacks, seven QB hits, and 25 hurries for the Bengals last season.

Another thing to note is that Ogunjobi already failed a physical this offseason, which negated the three-year deal he had agreed to with the Bears. He needed surgery after sustaining a foot injury in the Bengals’ AFC Wild Card game victory against the Raiders.

One rumored Jets depth target has signed elsewhere. The team remains interested in Kwon Alexander at linebacker and also brought in Riley Reiff for a visit to potentially bolster their swing tackle position. Joe Douglas is not finished building and refining this 2022 New York Jets roster.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.

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JetOrange
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JetOrange

Curious, about Larry’s contract, if it’s under 5 million, Douglas could have made a mistake. Backup OT could be a bigger priority.

JetOrange
Member
JetOrange

Pretty insightful guess. Agree, backup OT is the priority. Had a delusional hope that Edoga would make some noise, but that hasn’t materialized. Can’t believe that either Fant or Becton will be available for 17 games. McDermott is a disaster, Max is a year away. The Jets seem to be committed to go with tiny Defensive Tackles, very curious, it’s a scheme thing.

JetOrange
Member
JetOrange

There is a shortage of Quality Offensive Lineman in the entire league. I can’t see any possible trades, everyone is looking for a swing Tackle. Reiff & Eric Fisher seem to be out of our price range, would be willing to go a second year to amortize a bonus. Doesn’t look good.

JetOrange
Member
JetOrange

The problem is that Douglas has his number, and he will always walk.The cupboard is bare, there is Greg Senat, fourth year journeyman out of that powerhouse Wagner. Two UNDFA’s from last year, Parker Ferguson, & Grant Herrmans. Second year in the system, need a miracle in training camp. Things look bleak. Against all logic , still a Edoga supporter. Skill set is ideal for this system, has been hurt, he has been okay at times. Could Douglas Max out at 7 million ? Never fully appreciated how lucky we were to get Morgan Moses last year.

JetOrange
Member
JetOrange

Early reports from Pittsburgh is that Larry will net close to 8 million. Jets were never in it.

JetOrange
Member
JetOrange

I don’t think you were way off, it’s late June. 31 teams told Larry no. Foot health is a concern for a 310:pound man. Interior pass rush ,however, has great value to defenses, teams overpay. My concern, is the OT market , and values are not coming down, my guess is that there are 20 teams looking for a swing Tackle, getting pessimistic