The Jets have spoken with former Bears guard Kyle Long about coming out of retirement, Manish Mehta of the Daily News hears. The former Pro Bowler would give the Jets a major boost on the front line and a potential replacement for incumbent right guard Brian Winters.
As Mehta notes, Joe Douglas has had success in this area before. Last year, he convinced Ryan Kalil to return to the field, and he believes he can also talk Long into playing again. Long, 31, dealt with shoulder, tricep, ankle, and hip injuries throughout his Bears career.
Long missed 22 games over his last three seasons, but he performed as one of the NFL’s top offensive guards when he was healthy. He was a nearly perennial Top 5 fixture in Pro Football Focus’ rankings and, as an added bonus, he also offers experience at tackle.
Long’s own level of interest is unclear. If he is willing to play again, the Jets will have to pony up a big chunk of their available $25MM in cap room. Meanwhile, there are still some glaring holes to address, including cornerback and edge rusher. If the Jets are serious about signing Logan Ryan, for example, they’ll have to budget carefully.
The Jets’ offensive line has already been overhauled this year. The new-look OL will feature first-round pick Mekhi Becton, plus newcomers Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant. Between the three free agent deals and the re-signing of Alex Lewis, the Jets dropped $80MM to beef up the unit.
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