The New York Jets could be adding some more protection upfront in 2023.
Gang Green was recently named a top fit for Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Jonah Williams by Dallas Robinson of the Pro Football Network.
The former No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft requested a trade on Friday, March 17, per Ben Baby of ESPN.
That request came shortly after the Bengals signed franchise left tackle Orlando Brown Jr to a record-breaking four-year $64 million contract.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently predicted that the talented offensive lineman could be had for probably a “third or fourth round” draft choice.
A Risk Worth Exploring for the Jets
There is a lot to unpack here.
Williams is just 25 years of age and he is entering the last year of his rookie contract in 2023 for $12.6 million.
If the Jets or any team trades for him they’ll have to make a decision on his contract.
Do they let the former Alabama product play out his fifth-year option and then make a decision next offseason? Or do they sign him to a long-term extension as part of the trade agreement with the Bengals?
It’s not an easy choice because Williams hasn’t been this proven entity on a consistent basis at this level. Perhaps if he had, Williams would have never reached the trade block in the first place.
Over the last three years, he has allowed 23 sacks including a career-high 12 last season.
Williams’ Pro Football Focus grades were also underwhelming:
- 61.2 overall
- 63.9 pass block
- 49.9 run block
He brings great size at 6-foot-5, 312 pounds, and at the NFL level has exclusively played the left tackle position with over 2,779 snaps logged.
While this past season wasn’t great, the analytics loved what the big man did during the 2021 campaign. Williams had a 77.1 overall grade, 68.8 pass block grade, and a 79.8 run block grade.
The former Crimson Tide product has had a few injury issues during his NFL tenure. He never played his rookie year because of a torn labrum and he got banged up during his 2020 campaign.
However, over the last two years, he has only missed a pair of games.
Jets Willing to Get Aggressive to Protect QB Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn’t a member of the Jets yet, but the full expectation is that he will eventually get there at some point this offseason.
With that thought in mind, the Jets have been lurking in the bushes during the free agency period. Waiting for the perfect moment to strike out of nowhere.
That very situation almost presented itself on Wednesday, March 15. According to Orlando Brown’s agent, the Jets were one of the teams that “showed interest” in the franchise tackle.
Brown expressed that he wanted to solely play left tackle at his next stop and he received market-breaking money on his new deal with the Bengals. While the Jets didn’t land the talented bouncer, their interest in him tells you everything you need to know.
If the moment is right, general manager Joe Douglas is willing to get aggressive to get a deal done.
When you try to trade for a player of Rodgers’ capabilities you’re going all-in on that championship window. Gang Green knows time is of the essence and they want to do whatever they can to increase their chances at success.
That means getting reliable protection around their eventual QB Aaron Rodgers. The offensive tackle situation has a lot more question marks than answers for the Jets in the middle of March but they still have time to fix that before the season gets here.