Jets Free Agent Interest in Multi-Time All-Pro Is ‘Real’: Insider

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

There has been plenty of fan speculation on social media connecting the New York Jets to free-agent offensive tackle David Bakhtiari this offseason.

However, Connor Hughes of SNY told Joe Caporoso of “Badlands” that the connections between the two parties are “real.”

“I think the Bakhtiari thing is real, it’s just a matter of his health though. I checked in on it just into free agency I would say, it feels like a year and a half ago at this point. Right after free agency I checked in on it and I was just told that he’s not healthy right now,” Hughes explained on the “War Room” episode of “Badlands.”

“When he’s healthy, he is one of the 10 best offensive tackles in the NFL. Maybe not even that low, you could go higher than that. I was just told he’s not healthy and it’s tough to rely on him. For the right number, for the right deal, for the kick the tires, see what you can get out of him, yeah I think that one makes a lot of sense,” Hughes added.

Bakhtiari Would Provide a Historic Insurance Policy for the Jets

Hughes said Bakhtiari when healthy is one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. The Jets already have their two starters at offensive tackle written in pen with Tyron Smith at left and Morgan Moses on the right.

If the green and white added Bakhtiari to the mix it would be as the veteran swing tackle. That would be an unfamiliar position for the former Colorado product.

Bakhtiari, 32, entered the NFL as the No. 109 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft. Since entering the league, in every game, Bakhtiari has appeared in he has started.

During that run, Bakhtiari has been named an All-Pro on five separate occasions. Two of those were first-team nominations and three others were second-team.

However, he has dealt with the injury bug which has put his NFL future into question. During his 11-year career, he has missed 43 total games. 33 of those missed games have come over the last three years.

Jets Need a Strong Recruiting Pitch to Close the Deal

The Jets and Aaron Rodgers are going to have to put on their recruiting hats if they want to lure Bakhtiari to New York.

Gang Green is hurting for cap space so they’d have to get creative with a contract offer. Plus would Bakhtiari want to continue his NFL career considering all of his recent injury issues? Especially since a starting gig wouldn’t be guaranteed with the Jets?

We have a lot more questions than answers as it pertains to this pursuit. That could be the same way you could describe the depth of the Jets’ current offensive line.

Field Yates of ESPN bluntly said general manager Joe Douglas, “would have a very hard time walking into the season next year with such bad offensive line depth” on the “First Draft” podcast.

He believes the Jets will ultimately select an offensive lineman with the No. 10 overall pick in the first round.

If they don’t, then the top reserves would be Carter Warren and Max Mitchell. They have both shown flashes, but to trust them in an all-in season would be risky.

Perhaps the Jets feel the same way which could lead to an inevitable Bakhtiari summer signing to fill the gap on the roster.

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