Jets add backup QB Tyrod Taylor, keep K Greg Zuerlein and add O-line, D-line help, AP sources say

The New York Jets got a veteran backup for Aaron Rodgers — and added some protection on their offensive line.

Associated Press

Mar 12, 2024, 2:27 PM

Updated 34 days ago

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Jets add backup QB Tyrod Taylor, keep K Greg Zuerlein and add O-line, D-line help, AP sources say
The New York Jets got a veteran backup for Aaron Rodgers — and added some protection on their offensive line.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor agreed to terms on a contract with the Jets on Monday night, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. NFL Network reported it's a two-year deal worth up to $18 million.
The move on the first day of the NFL's legal tampering period of free agency addresses a major need for the Jets.
New York also agreed to terms on a two-year, $18 million deal with former Baltimore guard John Simpson on Monday night, his agent Kyle Strongin with Range Sports RMP told the AP. He's expected to take over as the starting left guard on what will likely be a revamped starting offensive line.
The Jets also agreed on a one-year contract with former San Francisco defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, a person with knowledge of the deal told the AP.
They're re-signing kicker Greg Zuerlein to a two-year contract, two people with knowledge of the deal told the AP. The deal, according to one of the people, is worth $8.4 million with $4.2 million guaranteed.
The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Jets didn't announce the moves and free agents can’t officially sign with new teams until Wednesday.
New York announced earlier in the day it signed former 49ers and Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who was released by San Francisco last month.
The moves came on a day when New York lost arguably its most notable free agent when edge rusher Bryce Huff agreed to a three-year deal for $51 million with Philadelphia, according to another person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Both owner Woody Johnson and general manager Joe Douglas said during the offseason New York would pursue a backup quarterback. The Jets struggled at the position after Rodgers was lost for the season when he tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his season debut.
Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian all took turns starting after Rodgers' injury and New York's offense couldn't produce points consistently. The Jets have given Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, permission to seek a trade.
Taylor spent the past two years with the Giants and started five games last season, throwing five touchdown passes with three interceptions in 11 games overall. The 34-year-old quarterback has 65 career TD passes with 29 INTs in 92 games over 13 NFL seasons, including stints with Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, the Los Angeles Chargers and Houston.
Simpson will replace Laken Tomlinson, who was released by the Jets last week after two seasons. Simpson started every game at left guard last year for the Ravens, who signed him in 2022. He was a fourth-round pick of the Raiders out of Clemson in 2020.
Kinlaw spent his first four NFL seasons with the 49ers, who drafted him in the first round out of South Carolina in 2020. At 6-foot-5 and 319 pounds, he's a big, run-stuffing presence who'll complement Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers on the interior. Kinlaw had a career-high 3 1/2 sacks last season.
After instability for several years at the kicker position, the Jets have gotten consistency from the 36-year-old Zuerlein in his two seasons. He was 35 of 38 on field goal attempts last season, including 5 of 6 from 50 yards or more.
Zuerlein set the Jets' franchise record with 26 consecutive field goals made and tied for the league lead with four tying or winning kicks. He spent his first eight seasons with the Rams before kicking for the Cowboys for two years. Zuerlein has converted 83.1% of his field goal attempts in his career.
His return helps stabilize a special teams unit that was among the best in the league last season. Punter Thomas Morstead is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, but he could also return after having a standout season.
Oliver brings depth to the Jets' defensive backfield behind fellow slot cornerback Michael Carter II.
A second-round pick by Atlanta out of Colorado in 2018, Oliver played under Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich in 2020 when Ulbrich was the Falcons' D-coordinator and linebackers coach.
Oliver spent his first five seasons in Atlanta before signing last offseason with San Francisco, where he made six starts and played special teams.
In six seasons, Oliver has three interceptions, 36 passes defensed, two sacks, nine quarterback hits and two fumble recoveries.


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