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AFC East Free Agents Still Unsigned After Initial NFL Frenzy

Identifying one available veteran free agent from each team in Gang Green's division

The National Football League’s Free Agent Frenzy is one week old, but a number of notable names have yet to sign.

In the AFC East, each team has at least one noteworthy veteran still sitting on the free agent market.

Here’s one available unrestricted free agent from each of the four AFC East franchises, including the New York Jets...


DE Shaq Lawson

The former Clemson star, who was the Bills’ first-round pick in 2016, has played for three of the four AFC East franchises during his NFL tenure. The 6-foot-3 edge rusher returned for a second stint in Buffalo after spending 2020 in Miami followed by 2021 with the Jets.

Lawson appeared in 15 games, including six starts, for the Bills during the 2022 regular season.

The free agent defensive end has logged 20.0 sacks in 65 games as a Buffalo Bill while also showing an ability to set the edge against the run. Drafted by the Rex Ryan regime, Lawson went on to total 194 combined tackles, seven forced fumbles and 14 pass deflections over 93 career appearances.


OLB Andrew Van Ginkel

The 6-foot-4 Van Ginkel played in all 50 regular season games for Miami over the past three years, making 30 starts.

The outside linebacker has been a key special teams contributor, but probably wants to see more snaps on defense where he seemed to be effective during limited action. He started only five times in 17 appearances last season.

Van Ginkel, who was drafted No. 151 overall by the Dolphins in 2019, has shown a high motor during his time in Miami. He has logged 181 combined tackles, four forced fumbles and 11.0 sacks over his 56-game career.

Jets QB Zach Wilson sacked by Dolphins LB Andrew Van Ginkel

Andrew Van Ginkel wraps up Jets' QB Zach Wilson


OT Isaiah Wynn

Running back Damien Harris occupied this spot until Buffalo reportedly signed the free agent to a one-year deal on Monday evening. With Harris finding a new home, the Patriots’ most-notable unsigned free agent is the team’s 2018 first-round pick.

Wynn has made 40 starts over the course of his rookie contract, but availability has been a challenge for the former Georgia Bulldog. He missed his entire rookie season (2018) after tearing his Achilles in a preseason game. Most recently, Wynn’s 2022 campaign ended on injured reserve due to a foot injury.

The 6-foot-3 Wynn provided stability at left tackle while playing 16 games (15 starts) in 2021. The 27-year old moved to the right side of the line prior to the start of last season, but struggled through the transition while making only nine appearances (7 starts).

By looking at his March 8 tweet, which simply featured the word “Free” followed by an emoji, it doesn’t seem as if Wynn expects to be back with Bill Belichick and Co. in 2023.


C Connor McGovern

McGovern has shown great availability at a position where continuity is important. The 6-foot-4 center, who will turn 30 years old next month, has missed only two games in the last five seasons.

Since signing with the Jets in 2020, McGovern has made 48 of a possible 50 starts. He started all 17 games for Gang Green last year. The seventh-year pro, who began his NFL career with the Denver Broncos, has graded well as a run blocker for what has been an injury-ravaged Jets’ offensive line.

Should McGovern not re-sign with the Jets, general manager Joe Douglas will need to find another reliable full-time center. Recent free agent signings Wes Schweitzer (Commanders) and Trystan Colon (Ravens) both own experience at the position, but will likely fill other roles for Gang Green in 2023. It’s way too early to tell, but it seems as if Schweitzer is destined for the starting left guard spot. 

Jets' center Connor McGovern celebrates with RB Michael Carter

Center Connor McGovern celebrates with RB Michael Carter.

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