The Jets entered free agency figuring to be players for many of the top offensive linemen on the market. But just hours after the negotiating window opened, many of those linemen are gone.
That's not good news for the Jets, who were unable to sign any of the top tackles or guards on the board -- at least not yet. So with guards Brandon Scherff and Joe Thuney franchise tagged, guard Graham Glasgow signing with the Denver Broncos and right tackle Jack Conklin signing with the Cleveland Browns, where will the Jets turn?
They do still intend to sign free agent offensive linemen, according to a source, and one of their new targets is Carolina guard Greg Van Roten. They also have an interest in Stefan Wisniewski, who played for the Chiefs last season, according to a report in The Athletic. Both are 30-year-old veterans and obviously aren't the young linemen Jets GM Joe Douglas was hoping to find. But both would provide an upgrade to an offensive line that was a mess last season.
The Jets also have an interest in bringing back guard Alex Lewis, whom Douglas acquired in a trade from Baltimore last summer. He generally was considered the best of the Jets' offensive linemen last season before he landed on injured reserve with an injured ankle. There is also a possibility the Jets will bring back veteran guard Brian Winters, though only likely if he'll agree to a cut of the $7 million salary he's due.
As for what the Jets will do at tackle, the market is thin. Veterans Bryan Bulaga and Jason Peters, who is 38, might be the best of the bunch. The Jets could pursue one of them as a short-term solution, but it seems increasingly likely they'll end up targeting a tackle with the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
But first things first. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Van Roten was a rock for the Panthers over the last two seasons, starting 27 consecutive games before he injured his toe and landed on injured reserve in Week 12.
As for the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Wisniewski, he has a connection with Douglas from their days together in Philadelphia. He played in 11 games for the Chiefs last season and was a starter throughout their Super Bowl run.
Had the market broken differently, Thuney likely would've been the Jets' top target, according to an NFL source. But the Patriots used the franchise tag on him, keeping him from landing either with the Jets or possibly the Miami Dolphins. Once that happened, the Jets did have some interest in Glasgow, who signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Broncos, and Conklin, who got a three-year, $42 million deal from the Browns.
It did not appear that the Jets were serious bidders for either one, at least not once the prices got high.
The Jets also had an interest in tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, but he got a five-year, $50 million deal from the Detriot Lions.