Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently documented a handful of moves that he either expects to happen or should happen before the start of the 2023 season.
One of those moves included Gang Green signing veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis to a free-agent contract.
As Barnwell pointed out in the column that was posted on Tuesday, May 16, Lewis was one of the players featured on Rodgers’ wish list earlier this offseason.
Analyst Explains Thought Process of Potential Marcedes Lewis-Jets Addition
Lewis originally entered the NFL back in 2006 as the No. 28 overall pick in the first round.
He is 38 years old and is about to turn 39 years of age. Barnwell believes he has gone through an evolution throughout his long 17-year NFL career.
“Once a pass-catching tight end for the Jaguars has evolved into one of the league’s better run blockers at the position.”
The statistical numbers back up those claims. Last season Lewis only caught six receptions across 17 games.
However, despite those marginal numbers, Lewis contributes in an array of other ways.
He brings leadership, run-blocking ability, and as Barnwell noted his ability on special teams makes him “more relevant on game day.”
Lewis was a teammate of Rodgers for five seasons in Green Bay from 2018 through 2022.
Does Marcedes Lewis Fit on the Jets Roster?
All of that is all well and good, but the Jets are stacked at the tight end position.
With seven bodies featuring a wide variety of youth, upside, and veteran leadership it’s hard to envision how Lewis would fit on the roster.
Barnwell stated that “the problem is that the Jets don’t really need a tight end.”
However, he emphatically said that Lewis is a “better blocker” than Ruckert at tight end. Despite that fun fact would general manager Joe Douglas realistically put the former Ohio State product on ice for another season?
If he did that, Ruckert would only have two years remaining on his rookie contract and the team wouldn’t really have any indication of what kind of player he is.
Ultimately what this boils down to is what’s most important.
If the Jets are chasing a championship then the most important thing should be constructing the best possible 53-man roster. If Lewis is a better player than another tight end on the roster, it should be a simple conversation.
However, it’s never simple because GMs always have additional love for their draft picks. Douglas selected Ruckert with the No. 101 overall pick in the third round. He hasn’t gotten a proper chance to see what Ruckert is yet because he basically red-shirted the 2022 campaign.
The way the roster is constructed it sure seems like Ruckert is destined for another red-shirt year. The only thing that could change that projected dynamic is a surprise injury or a potential surplus tight-end trade later in the offseason.