WEDNESDAY, 7:26pm: The Jets have officially signed Carpenter, the team announced in a press release.
TUESDAY, 9:18am: Carpenter will sign a four-year contract with the Jets worth in the ballpark of $4.75MM per season, a source tells Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
6:49am: Although Middlekauf backtracked a little on his own report overnight, tweeting that he was “premature” and that talks with Carpenter are still ongoing, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports has also reported (via Twitter) that the Jets will sign the offensive lineman. So barring a last minute change of plans on either side, it should get done.
MONDAY, 11:14pm: With interior offensive line help near the top of their offseason to-do list, the Jets have made a move to aid their front five, agreeing to terms with guard James Carpenter, according to John Middlekauf of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link). The transaction can be made official when the new league year begins tomorrow.
Carpenter, who will turn 26 later this month, was selected by the Seahawks in the first round of the 2011 draft, and has spent the past four years in Seattle. The Seahawks declined Carpenter’s fifth-year option, allowing him to hit free agency a year earlier than many other first-round draftees. Drafted as a tackle, Carpenter has settled in at guard, but he hasn’t been very effective, rating as the league’s No. 65 guard among 81 qualifiers in 2014, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
The Jets had reportedly been hotly pursuing Mike Iupati, who was considered the top free agent guard on the market, but the former Niner reportedly agreed to terms with the Cardinals earlier today. Orlando Franklin, another reported target for New York, appears headed to San Diego, leaving the Jets to shift their focus second-tier alternatives.
While Carpenter may not be quite as reliable or effective a presence in the middle a a veteran like Iupati and Franklin would be, he shouldn’t be nearly as expensive either, though financial terms of the tentative agreement aren’t yet known.