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Schwartz: Jets Should Pursue Larry Warford

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The New York Jets’ 2020 offensive line will already look very different and more improved compared to their lineup form any point of 2019.

While they have added Connor McGovern, George Fant, Greg Van Roten, and Mekhi Becton, another offensive lineman who recently hit the market should be of interest to the Jets. Former New Orleans Saints right guard Larry Warford was released in a surprising move after being crunched on the depth chart following the selection of Cesar Ruiz in the first round of the draft.

Warford, 28, has made the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons and has served as a protector for a legend in Drew Brees since signing on with the Saints in 2017. Warford was selected as the 65th overall pick in 2013 by the Lions and was phenomenal for them in his time there as he didn’t allow a sack as a rookie. His effect on the success of Drew Brees has been noted and has made him a valuable commodity.

Warford is the best offensive lineman to hit the market this free agency and has been linked to several teams to this point. The Jets would be wise to join that list.

Currently, the right guard is the one spot that the Jets do not have a solid starter at despite Brian Winters being under contract. Winters, 28, is also a third-round pick from 2013 who only appeared in nine contests last season. He has been injury-plagued all his career and releasing him before June 1 would save the Jets $7.28 million.

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If the Jets were to strike a deal with Warford, that would turn their offensive line from one of the worst to one of the best in the league. It would also form an almost solid wall for Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell and would work wonders for the Jets’ offense.  With the AFC East wide open in the post-Tom Brady era, a 9-7 season can easily contend for the division and the Jets would be in a great position to do so with an addition like Larry Warford.

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