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The move didn’t surprise many, but perhaps the timing did . . .
Talking about the Jets releasing guard Brian Winters, who subsequently signed with Buffalo. The Bills had just lost starting guard Jon Feliciano to a torn pectoral muscle and Winters will replace him.
Some people thought the Jets would move on from Winters a lot earlier in the off-season since he had a $7 million salary this year, and was coming off another injury (shoulder). Unfortunately for the player, he’s had a quite a few injuries over the year, due to no fault of his own. He’s tough as boot leather and played through a lot of things others would have sat out.
He’s had three major surgeries over the years – ACL, sports hernia and shoulder. So his salary this year was perhaps a bit too high considering he was coming off another surgery.
But you have to wonder a little bit why they allowed him to go through the last three months of their virtual meetings, a deep dive into the playbook, then to release him in August. And now he will take that intellectual property to Buffalo, a division rival and Week One opponent.
I have always found it odd that you let people into your inner sanctum, learn the nooks and crannies of your playbook, and then they can use that info against you.
Perhaps I’m overrating this. It happens all over the league, obviously.
But the Jets shouldn’t have much of an issue replacing Winters, who is a good player, but certainly replaceable.
The Jets have a ton of guards on the roster, and I mean a ton.
Obviously Alex Lewis will start at left guard, and at right guard, there are myriad candidates to replace Winters.
There is free agent addition Greg Van Roten, a Long Island-native, who started at guard for Carolina the last two years. With the starting center likely being free agent addition Connor McGovern, former starting center Jon Harrison is also an option at right guard. As is Connor McDermot, who started the last two games last year at the position for Gang Green, and did a decent job. The Jets right guard of the future is likely 2020 fourth-round pick Cameron Clark out of Charlotte. They don’t expect him to be ready to start Week One, but you never know – he might be precocious. Chuma Edoga, who started some games last year at tackle, could move inside to guard. There is also free agent addition, Josh Andrews, who came over from the Colts, and has been in the league on various teams since 2014. There is former Holy Cross standout Jimmy Murray who was on the practice squad last year.
People will anoint Van Roten, but this thing is wide open, and as you can see, the Jets have many options.
Winters was okay, a little inconsistent, but okay. Sometimes penalties and switch-off blocks were an issue.
“Brian Winters has been a liability for them at right guard,” said former NFL GM Mike Lombardi on his VISN Show.
But Winters always gave you everything he’s got.
However, they know they can replace him and not take a step back.
Douglas feels there are plenty of good options at the position on the roster.
August 5, 2020
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