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Done and done: NY Jets officially sign final two rookie draft picks

NY Jets, Will McDonald, Contract
Will McDonald, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have eliminated any contract-related drama ahead of training camp

Rookies and veterans report to Florham Park today as training camp begins for the New York Jets. The Jets’ veterans reported one week earlier than other teams as they will play in the NFL’s Hall of Fame game on Thursday, August 3.

One day ahead of the first training camp practice, the Jets finally completed an important piece of business: signing the remainder of their 2023 draft class.

First-round pick Will McDonald and second-round pick Joe Tippmann were still unsigned, but the Jets are expected to complete both contracts today.

The Jets came to terms with McDonald on a four-year, $16.3 million deal. As a first-round pick, the contract comes with a fifth-year option.

Both rookies will be fighting for snaps in 2023, so they will need to prove themselves on the practice field this summer.

McDonald joins one of the deepest defensive end groups in the NFL. He will need to contend with the following players for snaps:

  • Carl Lawson
  • John Franklin-Myers
  • Jermaine Johnson
  • Bryce Huff
  • Micheal Clemons

While Franklin-Myers and Clemons will play some snaps inside, it’s still a tough group to crack. Early on, McDonald will likely compete with Bryce Huff for third-down snaps as he bulks up.

On the other side of the football, Tippmann will have the opportunity to be the first rookie starting center for the Jets since Nick Mangold in 2006. He’ll have some competition in Connor McGovern, who started for the Jets from 2020 to 2022.

With the overall talent of the Jets’ roster in 2023, it’s the first time in years that most of their rookies are not expected to be immediately relied on as key players. Still, both players can elevate their respective units to the next level.

As of today, there are only 15 days until the Jets’ first preseason game and 50 days until Week 1. Quinnen Williams is extended, rookies are signed, and Aaron Rodgers is at quarterback. It is finally time for the Jets to end the “Same Old Jets” narrative and compete for a Super Bowl.

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