A former New York Jets draft selection is returning to the AFC East.
The former South Carolina product originally entered the NFL back in 2016 as the No. 158 overall pick in the fifth round.
Bills Have Been Lurking in Bushes for Ex-Jets Starter
Ryan Talbot of Buffalo Bills News revealed that the team “first showed interest” in the talented offensive lineman back in “mid-March.”
Shell spent the first four years of his career with the Jets.
During that span of time, Shell appeared in 49 games and made 40 starts. He played out his standard four-year rookie contract and then reached unrestricted free agency.
Recent history suggests if a draft pick left the Jets he wasn’t likely destined for greener pastures. However, Shell continued to prove that he is an extremely competent NFL player.
Over the last three years, he has played for the Seattle Seahawks and the Miami Dolphins.
This past season for the Dolphins, Shell displayed his dominance in the run game. He earned a 75.9 run block grade from Pro Football Focus. That was good enough to be the “13th best run blocker” of any offensive linemen last year, per Kevin Massare.
Shell at a minimum will provide some depth along the Bills offensive line. He will also provide some immediate competition at right tackle.
The projected starter for Buffalo is Spencer Brown at RT, but Shell might have something to say about that before the 2023 season officially arrives.
Jets Should Take a Page out of Bills Playbook
According to Bet MGM, the Bills have the fourth-best odds to win the Super Bowl in 2023 (+900).
Despite that, Buffalo isn’t being complacent and resting on its laurels. Instead, the Bills are doing everything within its power to improve its position.
Gang Green needs to hit copy-paste on the Bills’ offseason plans. The most important task for the Jets in 2023 is protecting veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers just as it is for the folks in Buffalo for Josh Allen.
There are logical answers to most of the Jets’ starting offensive line questions. However, you can always have more depth in the trenches.
Gang Green went through a historical amount of injuries last season on the line and that ghost will likely hang over the heads of key Jets decision-makers this offseason.
If the Jets are on the fence about an offensive line addition the past issues will likely influence decisions in 2023.
This month the Jets did kick the tires on veteran hog molly Yodny Cajuste with a visit to their facilities. That’s a great start, but there is still much work to be done.
The deeper we progress through the offseason, the cheaper some of these third and fourth-tier free agents should be.
That should open up even more possibilities for the green and white who have limited cap space available. According to Over The Cap, the Jets have $3 million in available effective cap space, and that currently ranks No. 22 in the NFL.