The New York Jets continued their complete makeover of the offensive line by signing former Panthers offensive guard Greg Van Roten. Signing the 30 year old former Pennsylvania Quaker probably signals the end of Brian Winters’ tenure with Gang Green. The Jets will save $7M in cap space with his release. His release, coupled with Darryl Roberts’ earlier release, nets the more financial flexibility to continue adjusting their roster…
Van Roten will slide into one of the starting guard positions for the Jets, and continues the trend of the team wanting better pass blocking offensive linemen and prioritizing athleticism over size and strength (my guy Dan highlighted that right here).
It is being reported that the team gave Van Roten a three year deal, which is exactly what they’ve given George Fant (the presumptive starting Right Tackle) and Connor McGovern (the team’s new starting Center). The clear message is to lock in the core of the offensive line through year one of QB Sam Darnold’s new contract. It is smart team building by Joe Douglas because it means you have a good idea of what you’re paying who when it is time to pay your franchise QB.
Van Roten was very good in pass protection last year if you look at just the numbers, as evidenced by the one sack allowed in 446 pass block snaps played. However, he did struggle in 2018, and so you hope that 2019 was a sign of things to come and not an anomaly. Then there is this write-up from our friends at Panthers Wire:
“If there was one true weak link in the fence last season, it was at left guard. Greg Van Roten had issues in pass protection all year, which wound up affecting both center Matt Paradis and the left tackles.”
Joe Douglas has added three new starters to a subpar 2019 unit, but there is one gaping hole at Left Tackle. Do the Jets trade the Giants third for Washington LT Trent Williams (y preferred move, 1 sack allowed and 12 penalties earned in 2018) or does Douglas continue the trend of acquiring players he has a connection to by bringing in 38 year old Left Tackle Jason Peters (3 sacks allowed and 10 penalties earned in 562 pass block snaps played)? Or, do they use that Giants 3rd round pick to move up and draft Jedrick Wills or Trsitan Wirfs, the two draft-eligible OL that fit the profile of what Joe Douglas and Adam Gase seem to want up front?
All questions that’ll be answered in time, but Joe Douglas has stuck true to his word so far and is going after OL to protect Sam Darnold.