Joe Douglas, NY Jets, Ben Jones, Rumors, Free Agent, GM
Joe Douglas, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets have their eyes on a new center

The New York Jets‘ starting center position remains vacant. Previous starter Connor McGovern is a free agent and the team has not signed a viable replacement yet. New York did sign former Ravens center Trystan Colon, although Colon only has four career starts.

It seems Joe Douglas has his eyes on a replacement for McGovern. Brian Costello of the New York Post reports he is hearing “there is possible interest in a reunion” between free agent center Ben Jones and Jets offensive line coach Keith Carter, who coached Jones with the Titans over the past five seasons.

Jones, who turns 34 in July, is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance. However, despite the lack of Pro Bowl recognition prior to 2022, Jones has actually been one of the most productive centers in the NFL for a long time. He consistently ranks as one of the most efficient pass-blocking centers in the league.

The 2022 season was Jones’ 11th in the NFL, but he still performed at a solid level in pass protection, ranking 14th-best out of 34 qualified centers with an allowed pressure rate of 2.7%. Jones allowed only one sack, giving him a grand total of two sacks allowed over the past three seasons.

Health is a concern for Jones as he just missed a career-high total of five games in 2022. All five of those missed games were due to concussions, coming over two separate stints. Jones was then released by Tennessee due to a failed physical.

Prior to 2022, though, Jones only missed one game in his career.

Keith Carter was hired as the Jets’ offensive line coach and run game coordinator after serving as the offensive line coach for Jones and the Titans from 2018 to 2022.

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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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Peter Buell
Peter Buell
4 days ago

Either sign Ben Jones or Etan Pocic to play center b4 there are no good options left.
McGovern got 3/$23 which would have been fine and almost $15m less than Spotrac had projected.
..With the concussion issues I’d prefer Pocic but I’ll feel more comfortable once we have a startingcenter.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
6 days ago

The Two Concussions are a concern and failing a physical is not a good sign. The Jets need to think this one out and weigh out there options.

DFargas
DFargas
7 days ago

If Jones was released due to a failed physical, how is he a better bet than McGovern? He might have performed better than McGovern last year, but McGovern wasn’t bad, is five years younger, and has no health risks (that we know of). He might also be on the rise as opposed to Jones who is probably on the decline at least health-wise. I would say just sign CM and draft the center of the future this year.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
6 days ago
Reply to  DFargas

I think JD is looking to draft their franchise Center. McGovern is probably looking for his last big contract, while Jones can be had on a 1-year deal.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
7 days ago

It’s time for Joe to begin filling the holes left with parted players with players able to start.
He’s been building depth but we starting quality players now.