The Jets are continuing to bolster their offensive line as the club inches closer to the start of training camp later this summer, and poaching one from a division rival. New York has inked offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste to a deal, according to the New York Post. The specific parameters of Cajuste's deal were not immediately disclosed.
The 27-year-old entered the NFL as a third-round draft choice of the Patriots back in 2019 out of West Virginia. Cajuste had been with New England up until this offseason when he was waived on May 18. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder played 10 games for Bill Belichick last season, including three starts.
With the Jets, Cajuste will join a collection of offensive tackles vying for a spot on the 53-man roster to begin the regular season. As things stand currently, Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown are the likely favorites to be New York's starters at tackle to protect Aaron Rodgers. That said, they are both coming off surgeries. Max Mitchell, Billy Turner and fourth-round pick Carter Warren make up the rest of the team's tackles along with Cajuste.
The Jets are coming off a 2022 season where they ranked 17th in the NFL in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders. With the 39-year-old Rodgers now under center and the team slotted with Super Bowl aspirations, the protection in front of him will need to improve and could very well start with deepening this tackle unit.
Meanwhile, this is the second offensive tackle the Patriots have seen land with a division rival this offseason. On top of Cajuste signing with the Jets, 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn inked a deal to join the Miami Dolphins.
New England is in the midst of reshaping its offensive line after an abysmal 2022 season where it ranked 25th in pass protection. At the tackle spots, Trent Brown (left) and free agent addition Riley Reiff (right) appear to be the frontrunners to start, but training camp will likely give us a clearer view of how this line will ultimately shake out. Calvin Anderson, Conor McDermott and Andrew Stueber are the other tackles on the Patriots' offseason roster.