Travis Swanson isn’t a household name, but he’s expected to become the latest addition to the New York Jets’ offensive line.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New York Jets are continuing to add depth to their offensive line with the planned signing of free-agent center Travis Swanson.
The #Jets are planning to sign #Lions free agent C Travis Swanson, sources say. The former third rounder recently visited NYJ and provides excellent depth inside.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 3, 2018
Swanson, 27, was a third-round selection (76th overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 2014 NFL Draft out of the University of Arkansas. While he hasn’t played a full 16-game slate since his rookie season, Swanson has started 42 games (53 total appearances), including the 37 games in which he’s played over the past three seasons.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan chose not to aggressively address the offensive line this offseason despite having a ton of cap space, a decision that ESNY’s Robby Sabo disagrees with vehemently.
However, the team has attempted to upgrade at center, with Swanson potentially a better option than incumbent Wesley Johnson. ESNY’s Paul Esden targeted center as a position that the Jets should target this offseason, and they appear to have done so.
In addition to bringing in Swanson, the Jets signed former Redskin Spencer Long, who is expected to be the starter for the Jets. The team hasn’t invested a lot in the offensive line, but that could change during the draft.
The team is expected to draft a quarterback with the third overall pick but could look to add some protection for that quarterback in the later rounds of the draft.
Long and Swanson join an offensive line that features Brian Winters and James Carpenter on the interior of the line. Although both have struggled to stay on the field, when healthy they are a solid guard combination.
The Jets have been cautious about throwing money around this offseason, setting themselves up to have $100 million in cap space entering the 2019 offseason. This move adds some depth for the Jets while allowing them to retain financial flexibility entering next season.