Dream Scenario Would Feature Jets Adding Super Bowl-Winning OL

Ryan Jensen Buccaneers

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen sucking some wind after a tough NFL contest.

This is the optimal time of the year if you’re a New York Jets fan.

We are on the precipice of another offseason and hope is in the air. Everyone is still undefeated at 0-0 and anything can happen.

At this time of the calendar, every Jets fan starts dreaming of what players they could draft, who they could trade for, and most importantly which star can they pry from another team in NFL free agency.

Luckily a Jets analyst did the hard work for you by picking out the perfect dream free-agent target for the green and white in 2022.

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A Juicy Hog Molly to Fix the OL

Andrew Golden of Jets X-Factor wrote a column where he selected the top “dream” free agency targets for the Jets.

The most interesting name on his list was Tampa Bay Buccaneers center, Ryan Jensen.

“If the Jets want to truly beef up Zach Wilson‘s protection, adding one of the best, and most durable, centers in the NFL will do just that. Jensen has been the leader of a Tampa line that has been the unsung hero of the team’s recent success.”

The 30-year-old veteran will be 31 by the start of the 2022 season. He is in the midst of his eighth professional season and has only played for the Baltimore Ravens and most recently the Bucs.

While there are a lot of impressive accolades you can point to like a Pro Bowl or a Super Bowl ring from his resume, the most important thing is his durability.

They say the best ability is your availability and fortunately Jensen brings that in spades.

Over the last five seasons, he hasn’t missed a game going 80-for-80, that will become 81-for-81 on Sunday with an expanded regular season.

The Jets haven’t had that kind of consistency and durability in the middle of their offensive line since the Nick Mangold and Kevin Mawae days.

Jensen is set to hit the open market in March and the Buccaneers have a ton of decisions to make with their pending free agents:

  • Leonard Fournette
  • Chris Godwin
  • Jason Pierre-Paul
  • Ndamukong Suh
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • OJ Howard
  • Ronald Jones
  • Carlton Davis

With so many names and such a limited budget (projected to have $28 million in 2022 cap space which ranks 19th in the NFL), someone is going to have to shake free.

Do They Actually Need an Upgrade?

Everyone seemed pretty excited about the Connor McGovern addition by the Jets back in 2020. It seemed like a great value, but it ended up being a major disappointment.

Last offseason there was a lot of rampant speculation that the green and white would move on and add a different entity whether that came via the 2021 NFL draft or in free agency. Despite some of that noise, the Jets stood pat and stuck by their initial investment.

It ended up paying off this season as the talented veteran was the most consistent option in the trenches from an availability standpoint, but he suffered a knee injury in the last matchup versus the Buccaneers in Week 17.

McGovern has one more year left on his deal through 2022 for $10.3 million, but if the Jets wanted to hit the reset button and cut him they could save $9 million with minimal dead cap.

While the former Denver Broncos stud was solid this year, the Jets shouldn’t get complacent. If they can upgrade the center position, why wouldn’t they?

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