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Potential top-tier NY Jets OT target ‘unlikely’ to be re-signed

Tyron Smith
Tyron Smith

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Tyron Smith is likely to find a new home

A top offensive line target for the New York Jets appears poised to test the free agent market.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, free agent offensive tackle Tyron Smith is “unlikely” to return to the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. Rapoport adds that Smith will have many teams pursuing him.

Smith has been a mainstay on the Cowboys’ offensive line since his arrival to the league in 2011. In his 13 seasons, the eight-time Pro Bowl tackle has allowed more than three sacks in only two seasons (the last being in 2015) while allowing just 29 total.

The production was no different in 2023; in 13 games played, Smith allowed 18 pressures on 536 pass-blocking opportunities, good for a 3.35% pressure rate that ranked third-best among qualified tackles. On true pass sets, Smith allowed eight pressures on 217 opportunities.

Additionally, Smith only allowed one sack and one quarterback hit in his 2023 campaign, helping him earn the best pass-blocking grade in the NFL at Pro Football Focus (88.6).

The main issue for Smith has been the injuries.

The star tackle has dealt with back, neck, knee, and ankle injuries, causing him to miss 49 games over his past eight seasons. These injuries have knocked Smith out for games at a time, but most of them have not jeopardized his entire season.

While his injury history could lead to pause for some, Smith remains a great veteran option for the Jets’ situation. New York is in a win-now window with Aaron Rodgers, and adding Smith would give them a player who could provide their quarterback with top-tier pass protection.

The Jets would need to prioritize adding depth behind Smith in case of injuries, but one of their main holes would be filled in a considerable manner.

Furthermore, the signing could open up the Jets’ entire draft board. If Smith and Alijah Vera-Tucker are penciled in at tackle, the Jets could be in a better spot to trade down or take an offensive weapon with their first-draft selection.

Like Mike Evans, the Jets will not be alone in pursuing Smith. But considering the state of their roster and contending window, the Jets need to make every effort possible to add an accomplished tackle to their team.

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