The NY Jets should consider making this bold OL move
Is it time for the New York Jets to hold Laken Tomlinson accountable?
Looking for sparks, he has New York Jets they haven’t been afraid to make bold changes to their offensive depth chart in 2022. They benched Zach Wilson twice, benched Braxton Berrios, buried Joe Flacco on the depth chart, replaced James Robinson with Zonova Knight, changed the roles of Garrett Wilson and Elijah. Moore, and Alijah Vera-Tucker played four different positions on the offensive line.
Now, it might be time to make one more bold move.
Behar Jets bench Laken Tomlinson?
Robert Saleh and the Jets coaching staff have done a nice job of holding players accountable based on their performance. I have mentioned some examples above. Whether it’s the quarterback they took second overall or the running back they traded a few weeks ago, the Jets have shown they’re willing to put aside their feelings and make changes that increase their team’s chances of winning.
So why should Tomlinson be immune?
Tomlinson has had a disappointing season since the Jets started in Week 1 against the Ravens. He appears to be healthy and in good physical condition, but he is surprisingly prone to errors related to recognition, awareness, technique and fundamentals. . It’s surprising to see so much experience in this scheme from an eighth-year veteran.
Yes, Tomlinson signed a three-year, $40 million deal with $27 million guaranteed.
Why would that matter?
The Jets are fighting for their playoff lives. It will be difficult to survive with a left guard who constantly allows free throws on the quarterback.
The Jets may find out what to do with Tomlinson this offseason. Perhaps they will decide to see if they can turn things around in 2023; after all, it won’t be cheap to get rid of him ($8.52 million in dead money).
But at this point, Tomlinson is a proven liability and the Jets should make a trade. If you can double Zach Wilson, you can double Laken Tomlinson.
The Jets traded for Duvernay-Tardif midway through the 2021 season, and he ended up starting seven games at right guard. It was respectable for the former Chief. It looked like a smooth scheme and helped improve the offensive line down the stretch. Duvernay-Tardif was good enough to be where many Jets fans wanted him back in 2022 as the starting right guard.
Instead, Duvernay-Tardif – who was a free agent – returned to his native Canada to continue his medical career. He remained unsigned for the rest of the season until the Jets returned him to their practice squad on November 18.
Duvernay-Tardif was promoted to the active list on December 7. At this point, he has been with the team for over a month and should be ready to jump into action.
Duvernay-Tardif has never played left guard in his NFL career, so if he were to make the starting lineup, he would likely have to be at right guard. It’s a position currently held by Herbig, who has been struggling as much as Tomlinson recently. However, Herbig’s first few games of the year were solid, which is enough to make his job better than Tomlinson’s.
Herbig played over 300 snaps at left guard in his career in Philadelphia and also played 57 snaps at left guard in the Jets’ preseason this year, so he’s capable of handling that spot. I would put Duvernay-Tardif at right guard and slide Herbig to left guard while making room for Tomlinson on the bench.
The main argument against this move is the chemistry aspect. We talk all the time about how important it is for an offensive line to have chemistry. Making this drastic change with two games left wouldn’t help accomplish that goal, especially when the Jets’ offensive line is finally sending the same unit every week for a few games.
But… it was that same unit bad. What good is chemistry if the unit stinks? And it’s not like we’ve seen any chemistry between these five guys anyway. I doubt their chemistry will improve in two mediocre games to close out a season.
Also, the chemistry aspect is part of the appeal of putting Duvernay-Tardif at right guard. He played on the side Connor McGovern and George Fant last season There’s already an established chemistry there.
It’s entirely possible the Jets could bench Tomlinson and get the same disastrous results from the offensive line with him on the sidelines. But I assure you this: there is no way things can be achieved worse With Tomlinson on the bench.
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