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Jets’ Joe Douglas reaches deal with two offensive linemen

Jets’ Joe Douglas reaches deal with two offensive linemen

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March 21, 2020 | 11:31pm

Joe Douglas continued to rebuild the Jets’ offensive line on Saturday.

The general manager reached an agreement on a three-year deal with free agent guard Greg Van Roten, according to a source. Van Roten started 11 games at left guard for the Panthers last year and 27 over the past two years.

This continues Douglas’ mission to revamp one of the Jets’ weakest units in 2019. He also reached an agreement with guard/center Josh Andrews on Saturday, according to his agent, Brett Tessler. Andrews has played 25 games in five seasons with the Eagles and Colts. He never has started a game.

Douglas has made offensive line a priority in free agency. He signed tackle George Fant and center Connor McGovern earlier in the week and also re-signed guard Alex Lewis. Andrews is more of a depth signing after backups Brent Qvale and Tom Compton were lost in free agency this week.

Van Roten could replace Brian Winters at right guard. Winters remains on the team, but his roster spot has been tenuous at best. The Jets would save $7.3 million in salary cap space by releasing Winters, who has no more guaranteed money in his contract.

Greg Van Roten
Greg Van RotenAP

Van Roten, 30, is from Rockville Centre and played at Chaminade High School on Long Island. He fits the mold that Douglas has brought in this week. He is versatile, can play several positions and has just one penalty in five seasons. Van Roten has also played for the Packers and spent time in the Canadian Football League.

It is possible the Jets will have four new starters on the offensive line this season.

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The Jets may be thin at cornerback, but that did not stop them from releasing Darryl Roberts, who started 10 games for them last season, clearing $6 million in salary cap space. The timing of the move makes sense with $2 million of Roberts’ 2020 salary scheduled to become guaranteed on Sunday.

Roberts, who signed a three-year, $18 million contract last year, played in 56 games for the Jets over four seasons, starting 26. He played both cornerback and safety.

His release means the Jets have cut both of their 2019 Week 1 starters at cornerback in the past week. Trumaine Johnson, who started opposite Roberts, was released Wednesday.

While the Jets’ biggest need in the secondary remains cornerback, they added a safety Saturday, when Marqui Christian agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million that could reach $2 million. Christian spent the past four seasons with the Rams after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 draft by the Cardinals.

Christian only made one start with the Rams. With the Jets, he likely will be a special-teams contributor and serve as the third safety behind Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Rontez Miles, who has filled that role in recent years, is a free agent.

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