For the first time since the Tennessee Titans released him earlier this month, former center Ben Jones is being linked to a team — the New York Jets — in free agency.
According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, Jones is a name to watch for the Jets, as he’s hearing there is “interest in a possible reunion” between Jones and his former offensive line coach, Keith Carter.
Carter isn’t the only coach Jones is familiar with in New York. Former Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing is the passing-game coordinator for Gang Green, also.
Jones was a surprise cut by the Titans earlier this month after serving as one of the more underrated centers in the NFL and a stalwart upfront for the Titans over his seven years in Nashville.
One name to watch with Jets in free agency is center Ben Jones. The former Titan was with new Jets OL coach Keith Carter over last 5 years in Tennessee. Hearing there is interest in a possible reunion.
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) March 19, 2023
It was originally thought he’d be back if he didn’t retire after a season in which he suffered two concussions that ended his campaign early. Instead, the Titans gave Jones the option to retire or be released.
There are a few possible reasons why Tennessee did that.
For one, the team likely views Aaron Brewer as a viable replacement who is both younger and cheaper. It’s also possible Tennessee had concerns about Jones’ long-term viability after the pair of concussions.
Prior to his missing five games last season, Jones had missed just one in his previous 10 seasons in the NFL.
When on the field in 2022, the 33-year-old was still playing at a high level and was the team’s best offensive lineman, a title he held for multiple years. There’s no reason to believe he won’t return to that form in 2023.
Assuming the Jets can close the deal with the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, New York would be a good landing spot for the veteran center, as the Jets will have a legit chance to contend in 2023.