LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: (EDITORS NOTE - This image has been converted to black and white) Greg Van Roten of Carolina Panthers looks on during the NFL game between Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 13, 2019 in London, England.
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The New York Jets signed guard Greg Van Roten this past weekend, uniting a veteran with the team he rooted for as a kid.

One of the needs for the New York Jets heading into this offseason was to bolster the offensive line. General manager Joe Douglas has done that thus far, and one of his better moves is the signing of veteran guard Greg Van Roten to a three-year deal. The 30-year-old previously spent the last three seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

But what many don’t know is that Van Roten was actually a Jets fan at an early age. So obviously, this is sort of a dream come true for him, and he was able to express his excitement Monday on WFAN Sports Radio.

“Obviously, it was an unbelievable opportunity to go play for your hometown team. I grew up a Jets fan,” Van Roten told hosts Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray. “They used to practice a couple of towns over when they were at Hofstra. A lot of the Jets guys used to live on Long Island like Garden City, Point Lookout. So just being around that as a kid was really cool and watching the team growing up then going to play in the NFL was an amazing experience. We had kind of been circling each other ever since I came out of college.

“I did a rookie mini-camp with the Jets in 2012 when Rex Ryan was the coach. When I was coming out of Canada, I did a workout with [the Jets] when Todd Bowles was the coach. Finally, a couple of workouts and almost a decade later, I end up on the team.”

Van Roten entered the NFL in 2012 after going undrafted out of the University of Pennsylvania. He saw major success in college, having been a two-time first-team All-Ivy League selection (2010 and 2011). The latter of the two was actually a unanimous selection. Van Roten was additionally All-Ivy League honorable mention in 2009.

Along with new acquisitions George Fant and Connor McGovern, Van Roten will be looking to build chemistry with his new offensive line counterparts. The Jets and their fans are hoping it works out, as 2019’s performance caused supports to grow impatient.

New York finished 29th in the league last year with 52 allowed sacks and also tied for 27th with 106 allowed quarterback hits.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.