Jets GM Joe Douglas said he will be addressing the offensive line this offseason, and if this latest report proves to be true, he will be making a serious upgrade right off the bat.
According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, an NFL team has been informed that pending free agent T Jack Conklin is planning on signing with the Jets once free agency opens on March 18.
However, ESPN's Adam Schefter is saying pump the brakes on that report, as he's hearing Conklin isn't expected to land with Gang Green. His market will involve many teams looking for his services.
So, despite the conflicting reports, the one fact here is the Jets certainly like Conklin, who was drafted by the Titans eighth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Titans didn't pick up his fifth-year option which allows him to hit the open market. And that market is expected to be around $15 million per season, according to Spotrac. The Jets currently have just under $50 million in cap space, per Over The Cap, and SNY's Ralph Vacchiano has Conklin as the top lineman for the Jets to look after in the offseason.
With Taylor Lewan at left tackle, Conklin has primarily played right tackle over his career thus far. The Jets, though, could probably use him at either tackle position given their current situation.
Kelvin Beachum, the Jets' left tackle for the past few seasons, is a pending free agent as well and the Jets could be letting him walk. At right tackle, Brandon Shell and rookie Chuma Edoga split time last season, but it was a mess all around. Conklin could easily fill into either position, but being the best lineman on the depth chart, the best guess would be covering Sam Darnold's blindside.
If Conklin does sign, it also might give some clarity on the Jets' draft plans. There are many highly-graded linemen in this year's draft class, and the Jets have been linked to a couple tackles with that No. 11 overall pick. If Conklin is aboard by the time they pick, the Jets could either look to bring in another tackle to shore up the edges for the foreseeable future, or feel happy enough with Conklin to take an offensive weapon like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb. These two receivers have also been taken by the Jets in mock drafts.
At 25 years old, Conklin is in his prime and has proved to be a solid option for Tennessee's line since he was drafted out of Michigan State. If the Jets can make the report a reality, it would be a very positive step in the right direction for this O-line rebuild.