With the league’s official legal tampering season a few hours away from beginning, the New York Jets have kicked off their offseason work under new Head Coach Adam Gase. Their first move? Sending a 2019 5th round pick to the Oakland Raiders for RG Kelechi Osemele and a 6th round pick.
The veteran offensive lineman has experience playing guard and tackle, and he was one of the first offseason splurges for former Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie when he initially took the Raiders job as the Raiders stole him from the Ravens. Osemele is a former Pro Bowler and All Pro who brings a much needed stabilizing force to the Jets OL and their young signal caller, much like he brought for Derek Carr in Oakland. Osemele has allowed 1 QB disruption every 48 snaps over his career, which would’ve been the best rate of any OL on the Jets last year.
He’s been called for 42 penalties in 6.616 snaps, an average of one penalty every 157 snaps. For a team that had a hard time sustaining drives due to penalties from the OL, this is a veteran who is disciplined and who now solidifies one of the guard positions on the OL for at least the next two years, if healthy. Osemele was banged up last year, but has played in 93 of a possible 112 games, so you hope last year was really more of an aberration.
The cost is very similar to when Mike Maccagnan traded for former Broncos tackle Ryan Clady to replace D’Brickashaw Ferguson after his sudden retirement. The upside is higher because Clady had substantially more injury concerns than Osemele at the time of acquisition. This is also another example of Maccagnan and the Jets front office cashing in on a relationship they established in a previous negotiation: Maccagnan and the Jets talked with the Raiders about Khalil Mack and, while that trade didn’t get done, they were able to return to the table and negotiate a deal thats more than fair. The Raiders recoup the 5th rounder they sent to the Steelers for Antonio Brown earlier, and the Jets not only shore up their offensive line but now have an extra 6th to build the depth this team sorely is lacking.
You have to wonder if that past relationship comes back into play come draft night, with Oakland maybe eyeing one of the QBs in this draft. If Osemele is healthy, this is a solid start to the 2019 offseason for Maccagnan and the Jets.