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Jets' New Left Tackle Plan: Tyron Smith? First-Round Draft Pick?

New York Jets' general manager Joe Douglas must fill an important hole as part of the team's offensive line refurbishment, and the left tackle options are dwindling.

The New York Jets are in the midst of an offensive line overhaul, and there is still work to be done.

Raiding a Baltimore Ravens' unit that spearheaded the NFL's second-ranked rushing offense in 2023, the Jets signed free-agent left guard John Simpson and traded for right tackle Morgan Moses.

Simpson presumably slides into the spot vacated by Laken Tomlinson, who was released as a Jets' salary cap casualty prior to the start of the new league year.

Moses, who made 17 appearances for the Jets in 2021 before leaving for Baltimore, stabilizes a right tackle position that saw five different starters last season.

Moses's return allows Alijah Vera-Tucker, who is working his way back from an Achilles tear, to kick inside and play at a position of strength. Meanwhile, Carter Warren, who made four starts at right tackle as a fourth-round rookie last year, can step into a backup role. With 2023 second-round draft pick Joe Tippmann nailing down the center spot, the Jets appear to have four players in place.

The lone missing link is at left tackle where New York must find a reliable blindside protector for 40-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the options are dwindling.

Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas on the practice field

Other than former Dallas Cowboys' bookend Tyron Smith, the free agent offensive tackle market lacks top-tier options at this point. The 33-year-old Smith has a $7.4 million average annual market value according to Spotrac. The Jets could opt to add former Green Bay Packers' All-Pro David Bakhtiari, a noted friend of Rodgers, but the aging veteran has struggled to stay healthy since 2020.

The other route to go is to wait until the draft and hope one of the plug-and-play left tackle prospects —Notre Dame's Joe Alt or Penn State's Olu Fashanu— falls to No. 10 overall. Of course, general manager Joe Douglas could always trade up to go get their guy, whoever that may be.

As it stands, the attempt to improve the Jets' offensive line from last season's motley crew rests on securing a difference-making left tackle. Douglas needs to finish the job effectively or he will likely be without a job next year.