The New York Jets have signed former Redskins center Spencer Long. The deal is for four years, $28 million.
Who is Spencer Long?
Long, 28, is coming off injuries in 2017. He did have a solid 2016 season prior to his injury. Long played center for the first time in his career in 2016 and played well. He played guard prior to 2016.
This flexibility is very handy for Coach Bowles, as the offensive line struggled with injuries last season. Brian Winters dealt with a torn abdomen and played through it. Brandon Shell was in-and-out of the lineup. And Wesley Johnson was… well, Wesley Johnson. Johnson’s currently an unrestricted free agent and doesn’t expect a return to the Jets.
Long is a huge upgrade at center, one of the most important positions on offense, and one the team has kept stability with over the past years. The Jets hope they find another great piece in Long.
#Jets hoping Spencer Long can add stability to center position that had been one of franchise's most consistent spots for many years:
-Joe Fields (1976-87)
-Jim Sweeney (1988-94)
-Kevin Mawae (1998-2005)
-Nick Mangold (2006-2016). pic.twitter.com/HZv9sEheuI
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) March 14, 2018
This stat is phenomenal. Having four franchise-centers through 40 seasons is beyond impressive. Johnson was a “bridge” center in a sense, and they hope Long fills the position for years to come.
In terms of stats, there are limited numbers to look from. He’s only played 18 games as a center, respectively. In 2016, where he started 15 games, the Redskins averaged a very respectable 4.5 yards per carry. While playing guard in 2015, the Redskins only averaged 3.7 yards per carry, but part of that is on their lackluster running backs. In terms of pass blocking, Kirk Cousins was sacked 26 times while Long played guard in 2015. In 2016, Cousins was sacked 23 times. Both of those numbers are very respectable.
Long was considered by many as the third best center in this year’s free agency. The Jets tried to snag Weston Richburg and failed. As for Ryan Jensen, Mike Maccagnan did not feel he was worth the extra money rather than just signing Long.
My opinion? I feel the Jets should’ve gone all in on Richburg and signed him, but Long is a solid replacement. I agree with Maccagnan’s theory that Jensen was not worth the extra money, but Long does come with some questions. We’ll see how the signing plays out.
What should we expect from Spencer Long?
Well, unfortunately we shouldn’t expect him to step in and become Mangold 2.0, but we can expect solid performance. We can expect better than what Wesley Johnson provided to a large degree. Long should step right in and become the confirmed starter barring any surprises. All in all, this signing (hopefully) provides a stable center position for the next few years.