Even after the Jets’ trade for Kelechi Osemele, they remain interested in improving their offensive line. Armed with the second-most cap space in the NFL, the Jets were expected to pursue multiple starters up front. Center appears to be a priority.
Spencer Long signed with the Jets last year, but he’s now with the Bills after underwhelming as a Jet. Paradis and Morse have longer track records of success, each being four-year starters. The Broncos appear set to let Paradis hit the market, despite their longtime starter profiling as their top free agent, and the Chiefs are likely to let Morse walk because of the major re-ups for other homegrown talents coming relatively soon.
Having started every game with the Broncos since the start of the 2015 season, Paradis broke his fibula to end his 2018 season. But he is still likely to command a top-market contract, having been one of the NFL’s top centers since the 2016 season.
The Eagles and Steelers recently raised the center ceiling, with extensions for Jason Kelce and Maurkice Pouncey moving the market to $11MM per year. Given how teams have spent on offensive linemen in recent years, it is not out of the question the 29-year-old Paradis could exceed that. Ryan Jensen became the highest-paid center via 2018 free agency accord, and Paradis has a longer track record of success.
Morse has battled injuries the past two years, missing 14 starts. But he has been a generally well-regarded center since arriving as a Chiefs second-round pick in 2015. Kansas City has extensions planned for Tyreek Hill and Chris Jones this offseason, having already begun talks with Hill, so players like Morse and Steven Nelson may be permitted to walk as free agents.
Additionally, the Jets are not planning to adjust Osemele’s contract, Mehta tweets. The eighth-year guard is scheduled to carry cap numbers of $10.2MM and $11.7MM in 2019 and ’20, respectively. The Jets will be able to afford these hits. No guaranteed money remains on Osemele’s deal.
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