Now just a few short weeks later Douglas and the Jets are receiving plenty of rose petals at their feet for this move.
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Some Pretty Hefty Praise
Longtime former NFL offensive lineman and current television analyst Brian Baldinger took to Twitter to heap some love at the Jets for their investment in Tomlinson:
“One of the best signings by any team in free agency was Laken Tomlinson by the Jets from the 49ers. When you watch him, there is nothing he can’t do. One of the best signings in all of free agency. He is going to make Zach Wilson and that organization a whole lot better. A high-level, great player.”
After initially struggling during his two years with the Detroit Lions, Tomlinson blossomed once he was traded to the 49ers.
Throughout his career, Tomlinson has been an incredibly durable player but his recent 80 straight start streak over the last five years is the stuff of legend. In a game that is more violent than ever at a position that invites contact on a snap-to-snap basis, this is hard to believe.
As head coach Robert Saleh shared at the NFL’s owner meetings, Tomlinson will stay at the same spot he has been at throughout his career, left guard.
That will force second-year stud Alijah Vera-Tucker to flip to the right side, where he has experience from his time at USC.
Tomlinson brings durability, leadership, and a high pedigree coming off of a Pro Bowl campaign in 2021.
This signing had all of the ingredients you’re looking for. Tomlinson has obvious scheme familiarity with the Jets-49ers connections. Fills a massive void on the roster. Will have an outstanding ripple effect on the rest of the line.
When you play next to really talented and good players, that raises your own level in the trenches.
Still, More Work to Be Done
This is a monster upgrade for the Jets and a worthwhile investment in the trenches. However, their work isn’t done yet.
Although one injury shakes up this entire plan.
Speaking of Saleh he was also asked about Becton at the NFL’s owner meetings and wouldn’t guarantee that he would be healthy and ready to go at OTAs later this month which raised some eyebrows.
However, if the recent string of Becton Instagram workout videos is any indication, the big man out of Louisville looks ready to prove some people wrong in 2022.