Jets To Sign G John Simpson

After dipping their toe into the free agency waters with a few defensive additions, the Jets finally made a splash on offense by announcing that they will sign former Ravens offensive guard John Simpson, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The Clemson product will sign a two-year deal worth up to $18MM.

As a fourth-round pick by the Raiders, Simpson only made appearances on special teams or as an injury replacement, getting passed up by Denzelle Good for the opportunity to start in place of an injured Richie Incognito. The following year, Simpson was given an opportunity to start for Las Vegas and started every game of the season that year. He lost his starting job to Alex Bars in 2022 and was waived from the Raiders.

After clearing waivers, Simpson signed to the Ravens’ practice squad, signing a reserve/futures contract at the end of the year. That offseason in Baltimore, Simpson beat out rookie sixth-round pick Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, Ben Cleveland, and, supposedly, fullback Patrick Ricard for the starting left guard job. Simpson started every game while leading the team in snaps played on offense.

The Ravens will need to address the loss of a starter on the offensive line in the offseason, perhaps two as the team’s other starting guard, Kevin Zeitler, is also bound for free agency. Cleveland, a massive former third-round pick, could factor in, and Aumavae-Laulu nearly won the job over Simpson as a rookie last offseason. Additionally, the team essentially red-shirted rookie guard Andrew Vorhees, who was projected to be a potential first-round pick before tearing his ACL at the NFL scouting combine. If the team isn’t sure about these options, they can certainly still address it in the draft or later in free agency, as general manager Eric DeCosta tends to avoid transactions that might cost the team compensatory draft picks.

Simpson heads to New York as a likely starter. While he’s never really graded out well, according to Pro Football Focus, with key interior offensive line contributors like Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, and Xavier Newman-Johnson all bound for free agency, Simpson slides right into a starting spot, barring more incoming competition. The Jets have a bit more work to do along the offense to improve things for a healthy Aaron Rodgers, but bringing in Simpson to protect him is a decent start. His starting experience for a contender like the Ravens should bode well for New York.

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