The New York Jets have continued to kick the tires on several pending free agents this offseason.
General manager Joe Douglas has stated on multiple occasions that if an opportunity presents itself ahead of training camp, he won’t hesitate to improve the talent level of his roster.
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A Connection Worth Monitoring
On the Flight Deck Podcast, Rich Cimini of ESPN said Seattle Seahawks free agent offensive lineman Duane Brown could make sense for the Jets.
Brown originally entered the NFL back in 2008 as the No. 26 overall pick in the first round.
He spent the first nine years of his career with the Houston Texans and was as rock-solid as they come. Brown played and started in 132 out of 144 possible games.
Even after being traded to the Seahawks, Brown continued his stellar play in the pacific northwest. Over the next five years, he played and started in 70 out of 74 possible games.
During that overall time span, Brown earned five Pro Bowl nominations and three All-Pro nods.
This offseason Seattle selected offensive tackle Charles Cross with the No. 9 overall pick which ruled out a possible reunion with Brown.
The only potential issue with this signing is Brown exclusively plays on the left side.
In his 14-year NFL career, the veteran offensive tackle has registered over 13,077 snaps on the blindside. As a matter of fact, Brown has logged more snaps at jumbo tight end (20) than he has at right tackle (zero), per Pro Football Focus.
The Path Is Clear
That very statistical nugget puts the Jets in a bit of a quandary as they weigh their options ahead of training camp.
Now here’s the thing, Reiff isn’t anywhere near as good as Brown. He has been a perfectly average player throughout his decade in the league.
However, he brings versatility to the table. Reiff has played both left and right tackle at the NFL level.
So what is more important to the Jets? Versatility or star power?
I guess that depends on how they feel about fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell. According to several draft people I recently texted with, they view Mitchell as an exclusive right tackle at the NFL level.
If that is true then maybe signing Brown would be the best move. Then you would have both of your bases covered.
However, if the Jets feel differently about the versatility level of Mitchell, then having a guy like Reiff would give you another guy that provides that luxury.
Either way, the importance of an addition to the offensive tackle room can’t be understated regardless of who you prefer between the two.