The New York Jets have moved on from a veteran offensive lineman.
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport was the first to share the news on Twitter that Gang Green has waived Alex Lewis with a “reserve/left squad designation” per the NFL’s transaction wire.
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A Strange Situation Comes to an End
Late in the summer of 2021, Lewis surprisingly retired from the NFL.
Back on August 5, he walked off of the practice field with what appeared to be a head injury.
He was ineligible to play last season after the Jets placed him on the “reserve/left squad list” in the middle of August.
“He’s going through some things which are much greater than football right now,” coach Robert Saleh said back on August 7 via ESPN. “We’re just giving him a chance to kind of sort through it all.”
Now it seems like both sides are heading in different directions.
Lewis was originally acquired by the Jets back during the summer of 2019 when general manager Joe Douglas sent a conditional seventh-rounder to the Baltimore Ravens.
Across two seasons Lewis played in 24 games for the Jets, starting in 21 of those contests.
This could mark the end of his football career, but as Rich Cimini of ESPN noted he “could try a comeback in 2022, but it remains to be seen whether he has any desire to play again.”
A Larger Issue
With Lewis officially removed from the roster, the Jets’ offensive line depth is very much in question.
The largest issues are at the offensive tackle spots.
While the starting lineup, when healthy, is solid with Mekhi Becton and George Fant, the depth is a different story entirely.
If either of those players had a setback, the Jets would be forced to call upon Connor McDermott or Chuma Edoga.
To put it lightly that would hardly be ideal. They each have starting experience, but the quality just isn’t where you’d want it to be.
McDermott has played in 36 games and has started in six of those (all with the Jets). While Edoga has 24 games under his belt including 12 starts.
This is a big reason why the green and white are doing their homework on the top of the offensive line class in the 2022 NFL draft. It could come as early as the No. 4 overall pick, but it seems like it won’t come later than the No. 38 overall pick in the second round.
Fant is heading into the last year of his contract and Becton’s future appears murky after some offseason questions about his weight and durability concerns.
Douglas has promised protection and playmakers for his young quarterback Zach Wilson. Making sure he is protected in his second season is of the utmost importance for this organization so the former BYU stud can take a quantum leap in his development.
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