Examining the Jets Offensive Line by David Dubovy
Jets still have multiple players fighting for offensive line jobs. The Jets seem to be set at both left guard and right guard; James Carpenter on the left and Brian Winters on the right. But as far as the center position and both tackle positions, they are still up for grabs. The Jets have six players fighting for three spots. For the center position; Wesley Johnson and Jonotthan Harrison. Battling for the left tackle spot; Kelvin Beachum and Ben Ijalana. Lastly, fighting for starting right tackle, Brent Qvale, Brandon Shell and Ben Ijalana.
James Carpenter, entering his 7th season, 3rd with the Jets, has been Mr. Reliable. He’s started every game the past two seasons since signing with Gang Green. The past two years with the Jets, James Carpenter has been called for five penalties and has allowed 4.5 sacks at the left guard spot. James Carpenter, is the back bone of this discombobulated offensive line and a very vital player, to keep the quarterback vertical. His back up Dakota Dozier, former fourth round pick in 2014, has played in 18 games in three years with the Jets. Of those 18 games, he’s started only 2 games.
Now on to right guard, Brian Winters, entering his 5th year as a Jet, has played in 51 games in four seasons and started 41 games for the Jets. He signed a 4 year deal this offseason worth $29 million with $15 million guaranteed. The Jets hope Winters and Carpenter can one of the top guard combos in the league. Additionally, with three new starters on the offensive line, the New York Jets are hopeful Brian Winters can be a veteran presence.
After spending last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kelvin Beachum finds himself battling for the starting left tackle position. Kelvin Beachum signed with the Jets this offseason as a replacement for Ryan Clady, who the Jets cut this offseason. Beachum signed a deal for 3 years, worth $24 million, with $12 million guaranteed. With the Jaguars last season, Kelvin Beachum played in 15 games and started each one. There is a reason why the Jets gave Beachum the money and the length of contract they did, and that’s start each game as their starting left tackle.
After cutting longtime center Nick Mangold, and not drafting or adding a big-time center, the Jets have hopes for Wesley Johnson. Entering his fifth season, he has 9 career starts at center, including 8 last season after taking over for injured Nick Mangold. Johnson has big shoes to fill, but his job to lose. Lastly, if Wesley Johnson plays exceptionally well, he could be in for a big pay day at the end of the season when his contract is up.
Ben Ijalana signed a 2 year $11 million deal to stay with the New York Jets this offseason. With Kelvin Beachum possibly starting at left tackle, this leaves Ben Ijalana shifting to right tackle competing with Brent Qvale and Brandon Shell. Given the contract Ben Ijalana signed, his days on the bench could be coming to an end.
The Jets offensive is still in flux and this upcoming preseason game versus the Giants is a good test for the group. Facing guys like Jason Pierre Paul, former Jet Damon Harrison and Oliver Vernon, should be a good telling point for Todd Bowles as to who should get the starting jobs.