Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN
Joe Douglas isn’t fooling around trying to improve the offensive line. Two o-line additions in the past few days: Ryan Kalil and now Alex Lewis. The Jets gave up a conditional 7th round pick in 2020 for Lewis. They did not want Lewis to hit open market. A smart preemptive move
Lewis had announced earlier Monday via Instagram that he'd been released, though the Jets swung the trade before the offensive lineman hit waivers:
"Thank you to the Baltimore Ravens for drafting me back in 2016 and giving me an opportunity to play in the NFL. It has been a memorable three years. Appreciate all my teammates and coaches I have met along the way. Loved the atmosphere of Baltimore and the amazing fans that supported us! Unfortunately, I was released today. Thank you Baltimore! 'As one door closes another opens.'"
Lewis started 10 games for the Ravens last season at guard, though injuries have played a major factor in recent years. He missed the entirety of the 2017 season after having shoulder surgery and started training camp on the physically unable to perform list after having shoulder surgery this offseason.
He also started eight games for the Ravens in the 2016 campaign.
In New York, he'll be battling for a reserve spot with Kelechi Osemele and Brian Winters currently atop the depth chart at the guard position. He'll join the previously retired Ryan Kalil as recent additions to the offensive line as the Jets clearly look to bolster that group in front of second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
If that line can hold up in 2019, the Jets have talent to work with on the offensive side of the ball, especially with Le'Veon Bell now in the backfield. A sturdy running game would take some pressure off the young Darnold, while the quarterback has a solid group of pass-catchers to work with in Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa and Chris Herndon (once he returns from suspension).
But that won't matter if the offensive line can't protect Darnold or open up running lanes for Bell. The addition of Lewis should give the team quality depth, at the very least, and perhaps a player capable of pushing the current starters.