New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh affirms his team’s interest in two Pro Bowlers on the open market
Speaking to the media at the NFL’s league meetings in Arizona, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh appeared to confirm his team’s interest in a pair of former Pro Bowlers who are available in free agency and have reportedly been pursued by the Jets.
Saleh said the Jets are “for sure” exploring former Titans center Ben Jones in free agency. Jones was named to the Pro Bowl this past season with Tennessee.
Robert Saleh said the #jets are "for sure" exploring Ben Jones as an option in free agency.
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) March 27, 2023
Additionally, ESPN’s Rich Cimini reports that Saleh indicated “likely interest” in six-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Calais Campbell.
Saleh confirms interest in free-agent C Ben Jones. Indicates likely interest in DE Calais Campbell. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 27, 2023
Jones and Campbell have both been rumored to be on the Jets’ radar. Campbell is set to visit with the Jets this week. Jones has strong ties to the Jets through their passing game coordinator, Todd Downing, and their run game coordinator/offensive line coach, Keith Carter, who both coached Jones in Tennessee.
The Jets have gaping holes at both of these spots.
At center, the Jets’ previous starter, Connor McGovern, remains a free agent, and there does not appear to be much interest in a reunion.
At defensive tackle, the Jets are riddled with holes after losing two key rotation players in free agency, Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd. New York currently has only two defensive tackles who were on an opening-week 53-man roster last season: Quinnen Williams and Solomon Thomas.
With the Jets gearing up for a potential Super Bowl-or-bust type of season with Aaron Rodgers, it could make a lot of sense to pursue veteran starters like Jones and Campbell. While both are well into their thirties and would not be long-term answers for the Jets, their experience would be useful in a season where the Jets are hoping to go deep into the playoffs, especially on a team that is loaded with young players who have never experienced the postseason.