The New York Jets finally addressed some of their holes on the offensive line on Thursday, March 16, signing two veterans on the interior.
The big addition was former Atlanta Falcons and Washington Commanders guard Wes Schweitzer — who also has the versatility to play center similar to Dan Feeney, a player general manager Joe Douglas just lost to the Miami Dolphins earlier in the day.
Gang Green announced this roster move themselves, with team reporter Ethan Greenberg detailing the move. “Schweitzer (6-4, 300) started 6 games for the Washington Commanders last season and appeared in 7 games,” he informed. “He played right guard (71 snaps) and center (348 snaps) in the 2022 season. The San Jose State product has started 60 of the 80 games he’s played in over his six NFL seasons.”
Wes Schweitzer Signing Buys the Jets Time at Center
After losing Feeney, Nate Herbig and potentially starting center Connor McGovern — who is currently available on the open market — Douglas needed to bring in some sort of reliability on the interior offensive line. The center position was completely barren, for example, and Schweitzer at least provides some experience in that role.
Throughout his NFL career, Schweitzer has started more games at guard according to Pro Football Reference. He began as a sixth-round draft pick in 2016, starting 16 games for the Falcons during his second campaign (did not play in 2016).
Later on, he became more of a rotational cog known for his versatility — which is likely the plan for Schweitzer in New York. Keep in mind, the Jets could still be looking to solve their starting center problem in the draft with a top prospect like John Michael Schmitz.
In terms of Schweitzer’s strengths and weaknesses, Pro Football Focus did not grade the seven-year pro favorably in pass protection last season with the Commanders. He received 42.9 marks, allowing three sacks and 15 quarterback pressures. The blocker was better in the run game, with a 65.3 grade on PFF. He was also charged with three penalties.
It is fair to note that Schweitzer has graded out a lot better as a guard from 2017 through 2021, with his best overall marks coming in 2021. He didn’t really transition to the center position consistently until 2022, with just 82 combined snaps at center up to that point. Clearly, the results weren’t as strong, and it appears that Schweitzer is more of a natural guard at heart.
The Jets have not revealed his contract details at this time, but 33rd Team insider Ari Meirov reported that it’s a two-year deal “worth up to $7.5 million.” NFL insider Aaron Wilson also tweeted out a breakdown that explained this reported contract. It read:
- Two years, $5 million base, $3.165M guaranteed.
- $1.5M signing bonus.
- Salaries; $1.165M (all guaranteed) in 2023, $1.58M (only $500K guaranteed) in 2024.
- Incentives; $19,705 per game that he is active in 2023, $124,705 per game that he is active in 2024, $1.25M playtime-playoffs incentive.
- “Annual 2025-2027 void if on roster 5th day [of] 2025 [league year].”
Jets Re-Sign G Adam Pankey in NFL Free Agency
Earlier on March 16, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reported that the Jets have also re-signed backup guard Adam Pankey.
Associated Press beat reporter Dennis Waszak Jr. commented on the transaction, stating: “Pankey spent most of last season on the #Jets‘ practice squad. Was promoted for the season finale, but didn’t play. Pankey began his career in Green Bay (2017-18) as a backup guard. Also has played with Miami.”
Pankey originally went undrafted out of West Virginia, and has appeared in nine games since entering the NFL. Although his overall snap count it low, the career reserve was credited with starting one of his seven outings with the Dolphins in 2019 (Pro Football Reference).
These two signings at the very least provide the Jets with some breathing room at guard and center. Douglas now has Alijah Vera-Tucker, Laken Tomlinson, Schweitzer, Pankey and Chris Glaser under contract on the interior. Sure, this group could still use some work, but the situation is far less dire than it was before.