Most people who cover the NFL will say that left or right tackle (depending on the throwing hand of the quarterback) is the most important position — outside of the quarterback. Is it really, though? Sure, the quarterback’s blind side needs to be protected, but center is even more important, and the New York Jets need to address the position at some point during the upcoming offseason.
Jets Must Address Center in the 2022 Offseason
The offensive line for the New York Jets has had its ups and downs during the 2021 season. The rocky and uneven season can be mainly attributed to the center position.
You can say what you want about Connor McGovern‘s individual performance all you want (and many have), but there has been constant miscommunication, as well as a sea of missed assignments, on the Jets" offensive line, and that starts with the center.
McGovern carries a $10 million cap hit in 2022, and cutting him would result in incoming savings of $9 million. The inconsistent play of the line falls on McGovern, and they need to replace him with a free agent or draft pick.
Top Free Agency Option: Ryan Jensen
According to Pro Football Focus, Ryan Jensen could command a contract of 3 years, $30 million with $15 million guaranteed. While Jensen isn"t necessarily a perfect fit for the zone-blocking scheme, he brings a lot more to the table from a football IQ standpoint than McGovern. That"s the most important upgrade the Jets could add there.
Top Draft Option: Tyler Linderbaum
Tyler Linderbaum has all of the tools you want in a center. His wrestling background gives him a huge understanding of leverage. He also has a great combination of anchor, strength, and athleticism. Linderbaum likely will be an All-Pro many times in his career.
The biggest aspect of his game is setting the protections pre-snap. He has an understanding of what the defense wants to do and is an amazing communicator. That"s why he"s the top center in the draft. He brings everything to the table.
Thanks for reading my article on the the Jets adding a center in 2022. Follow us on Twitter @OT_Heroics!
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