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NY Jets’ revamp of key unit ranked as top-five NFL offseason move

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Joe Douglas, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets are receiving high praise for one of their biggest offseason moves

One of the biggest problems for the New York Jets last season was their offensive line – especially its health. While the durability concerns remain a problem, the team went to great lengths to revamp the talent in the trenches, and it’s received immense praise around the league. The 33rd Team ranked the Jets’ revamping of the offensive line as the league’s fifth-best offseason move.

The Jets began the 2024 free agency period on a quiet note before signing former Baltimore Ravens guard John Simpson to a two-year, $12 million contract. Simpson has proven to be a mauler in the run game and should also boost the team’s pass protection.

The team followed that up by trading for Ravens tackle Morgan Moses, who spent time with the team in 2021. Despite entering his mid-thirties, Moses proved to be an above-average starter for the Ravens last season. And like Simpson, Moses will boost the Jets’ rushing attack, ranking 10th-best among tackles by PFF with a 72.2 run-blocking grade.

In their first major veteran move of the offseason, Joe Douglas made the move many Jets fans had been clamoring for since the start of the tampering period, signing former Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith to a one-year, $6.5 million contract (worth up to $20 million with incentives). Smith walks into New York as possibly the most talented offensive tackle to ever play for the team. Smith comes with injury concerns, but the Jets addressed that with their final move.

As a contingency plan if either of the Jets’ two veteran tackles miss any time due to injury, the team selected Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu with the 11th overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Fashanu was an elite tackle prospect at Penn State. He gives the Jets an excellent insurance policy at the position in 2024 and a potential cornerstone player for years to come.

Perhaps even sweeter than Fashanu’s addition was how general manager Joe Douglas acquired him. New York was able to move back one spot to the No. 11 pick after trading with the Minnesota Vikings, who took quarterback J.J. McCarthy. The trade netted the Jets picks 129 and 157 for essentially nothing. Douglas would use No. 157 in a package to trade up in the third round to draft wide receiver Malachi Corley.

Douglas traded the No. 129 pick to the San Francisco 49ers for two fifth-round selections (No. 173 and No. 176). With No. 173, the Jets selected their second running back, Isaiah Davis. At No. 176, the Jets selected cornerback Qwan’tez Stiggers (from the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts).

With their series of moves to revamp offensive line, the unit is clearly improved. If they’re able to stay healthy and keep Aaron Rodgers upright, they could lead the Jets to their first playoff berth since the 2010-11 season.

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