Jets Impending Free Agent Eager to Re-Sign With New York

Zach Wilson, Jets

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson calling an audible at the line of scrimmage during an NFL game.

A New York Jets veteran has made a clear stance on his future with the team.

I spoke with impending free agent center Connor McGovern this week and he wanted it to be known that he’d like to return in 2023.

“If we can work a deal when [general manager] Joe Douglas is ready then I would like to work a deal.”

Connor McGovern Provides Clarity on Jets Future

McGovern joined the Jets on a three-year deal during free agency in 2020 for $27 million.

The 29-year-old who will turn 30 ahead of the 2023 season is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Connor Hughes of SNY made a few headlines in early February when he appeared on the Badlands podcast.

During that interview, he revealed that McGovern told the media that his exit meetings with the team did not include any extension talks.

Hughes added to that story by saying that isn’t a strong indication that he will return to the team.

I spoke with McGovern and he wanted to make sure that everyone understood what that meant.

“I don’t want it to seem like I don’t want to be a Jet” and reiterated that if the Jets want to make a deal he is all ears ahead of free agency.

Tough Questions for the Jets to Answer

In a perfect world bringing McGovern back would make a lot of sense.

After a crazy year of musical chairs on the offensive line, the veteran center was the one pillar of consistency.

He has appeared in 48 out of 50 possible games during his three-year stretch with the team. McGovern has never been considered one of the elite centers in the league, but he also hasn’t been one of the worst either.

The Pro Football Focus analytics portray a steady veteran who is closer to the middle of the pack and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The problem is the Jets are making a significant move at the quarterback position this offseason. This will be the first time in a long time that the Jets will actually have to give a top salary to a QB.

In the recent past, they have either doled out rookie money or cheap veteran money. When you do that you can build up the rest of your team because of financial flexibility.

However, the Jets are about to enter a first-world-problem situation after paying an in theory really good quarterback the team will have to make sacrifices at other positions this offseason.

One of those tough choices could come at the center position.

Brad Spielberger of PFF projected McGovern to land a multiyear deal in free agency that pays him north of $22 million.

If the Jets decided to draft a center on day two of the 2023 NFL draft they could save a bunch of money to fill the same hole.

The rookie-slotted contracts numbers for 2023 aren’t available yet but we can use the past as an example. Wide receiver Denzel Mims is currently on a four-year deal for $5.4 million and he was the No. 59 overall pick in the second round in 2020.

The Jets hold the No. 44 overall pick in the second round so that player’s contract would be a little larger than Mims but you get the point.

Gang Green is going to have to look under every couch cushion to save money to pay for a quarterback. That could include some tough cap casualties or making compromises at certain positions.

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