The New York Jets must use every advantage at their disposal this offseason to close the gap in the AFC East.
One way they can do that is by tapping into their current coaching staff to find connections with past players that they have worked with.
Everyone knows who the top-flight free agents are going to be that’ll secure the bag this offseason, but what separates the good teams from the great teams will be finding the hidden gems.
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A Behemoth of a Big Man
Former first-rounder Laken Tomlinson is still chasing his NFL playoff dreams as a key cog of the San Francisco 49ers. Although the next chapter in his life is still very much up in the air with his pending free agent status.
He is in the last year of his contract and Tomlinson is making just over $1 million bucks this season.
The big man out of Duke was originally selected with the No. 28 overall pick in the first round in the 2015 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions.
After struggling on the field in his first two seasons, Tomlinson was traded to the 49ers for a 2019 fifth-round draft choice. That is where his career has really taken off.
The 29-year-old (will be 30 years old by the start of the 2022 season) has been a pillar of consistency starting 80 consecutive games over the last five seasons (all with San Francisco).
A big key to his turnaround was current Jets’ offensive line coach John Benton who worked with the talented former first-rounder from 2017 through 2020.
The green and white have had a revolving right door at right guard over the last few years and Tomlinson could be the answer to their prayers. He has experience playing right guard both in college and situationally in the NFL, per Jets X-Factor.
The Jets would have the inside track to land him this offseason and convince him to come to New York to reunite with the man that helped launch his career to the next level.
Trench Warfare Is a Massive Priority
While the offensive line was markedly improved in 2021, there is still so much more to go.
Fant will be a starter on one of the two sides on the outside, but you need starters and depth added this offseason.
Tomlinson could be a cost-effective way to plug a massive void on the roster. That would allow you to spread your other resources to other places on the roster that desperately need the help.