Jets Eyeing Former $17 Million Champ, Not Done in Free Agency: Insider

A'Shawn Robinson, Rams

Getty Former Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson celebrating with his teammates.

The New York Jets aren’t done making moves this offseason.

On Thursday, April 6 Gang Green announced the signing of veteran defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson. Shortly thereafter Connor Hughes of SNY revealed on Twitter that the team won’t be stopping there.

Hughes replied to a fan asking for an update on free-agent defensive tackle Al Woods saying the Jets are “still in on that, just nothing imminent.”

Hughes also added that a name to keep an eye on is former Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson.

Jets Defensive Line Only Getting Deeper in 2023

Robinson just turned 28 years of age and finished up his two-year $17 million contract with the Rams.

During that run, he won a Super Bowl championship when LA beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

The 6-foot-4, 330-pound big man initially entered the league as the No. 46 overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft.

During his seven years in the NFL, Robinson has only registered seven sacks. However what he lacks in pass rush he has more than made up for in run defense.

The former Alabama product has put up solid run defense grades via Pro Football Focus over the last two seasons:

  • 2022: 68.7
  • 2021: 73.1

That is an important quality especially considering all of the Jets’ losses on the interior defensive line this offseason. Both Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd signed contracts with new NFL teams during free agency.

Jets Defensive Line Needs Variety in the Diet

Head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich utilize a deep defensive line rotation between 8 and 10 guys.

With that many players involved, the Jets coaching staff has the luxury of sharing snap percentages so no one is getting too much run. That keeps players fresh and allows them to fire off in waves throughout a 60-minute football game.

For that ideology to work the Jets need some variety in the diet as it pertains to skillsets.

On Thursday April 6 the Jets added Jefferson to its defensive line rotation. He is coming off a career-high 5.5 sack season with the Seattle Seahawks.

According to Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor, Jefferson had a top-five pressure rate last season.

Over the last two seasons Jefferson struggled with his run defense according to PFF:

  • 2022: 40.7
  • 2021: 42.4
  • 2020: 48.6

While Jefferson is a great addition to the Jets’ defensive line, Gang Green still needs to add some proven run defenders to complete the unit.

The Robinson rumors would certainly help to fill a void for the Jets’ defense. The other name that has been floated around is Al Woods.

He is scheduled to visit the team this week and Hughes confirmed that the Jefferson addition doesn’t affect the team’s pursuit of Woods.

The 36-year-old has some tread on the tires but he would bring massive size to the position at 330 pounds. He is another player that doesn’t have a ton of pass-rush upside (9 sacks in 12 years) but has historically been a very good player against the run, per PFF.

None of these players are perfect, but they all complement each other very well. If you can mix in some of that with what the Jets already have they could possess one of the most potent defensive lines in the league in 2023.

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