Sources: Jets pick up QB Taylor, guard Simpson



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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Securing a new backup for Aaron Rodgers and adding to his offensive line, the New York Jets agreed to terms Monday night with former New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor and former Baltimore Ravens guard John Simpson, sources confirmed to ESPN.

In another late-night move, the Jets finalized a deal with former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, a 2020 first-round pick.

On Day 1 of free agency, the Jets addressed their two biggest needs on offense. They were transparent in their desire to replace Zach Wilson as the backup quarterback. Wilson, drafted No. 2 overall in 2021, is expected to be traded or released. They also expressed their goal to add three starters to the offensive line, their weakest unit in 2023.

In Taylor, they get a seasoned player who knows the New York market. The big question is his durability. Taylor started five games for the New York Giants — his sixth NFL team — in 2023. He threw for 1,341 yards with five touchdown passes and three interceptions.

After making three starts in place of injured starter Daniel Jones, Taylor’s season was once again interrupted by injury. He suffered four fractured ribs in a midseason loss to the New York Jets.

The veteran quarterback, who turns 35 on Aug. 3, was eventually reinserted into the starting lineup over Tommy DeVito in the second half of a Week 16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Taylor started the final two weeks of the season, throwing for 616 yards and a pair of TDs.

The 2011 sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens has a 28-28-1 record as a starter. He has thrown for 12,135 yards, 65 touchdowns and 29 interceptions while completing 61.7% of his passes for the Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Giants.

He won a Super Bowl title as a member of the Ravens in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl with the Bills in 2015. Taylor has also rushed for 2,268 yards and 19 touchdowns over his career.

Taylor will sign a two-year contract, a source confirmed. Simpson will sign a two-year deal that can be worth as much as $18 million, a source said. The agreements were first reported by the NFL Network.

Simpson is expected to replace left guard Laken Tomlinson, who was released on Feb. 26. Simpson joins center Joe Tippmann and guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in the projected starting lineup. Vera-Tucker can play right guard or either tackle spot.

In his first full season with the Ravens in 2023, Simpson started every game at left guard. Simpson, who turns 27 on Aug. 19, ranked 24th among guards in pass block win rate (92.5%) and 67th in run block win rate (66.3%). His eight sacks allowed was the second most on the Ravens.

He was among the most durable offensive linemen last year, playing a team-high 1,159 snaps. Simpson was flagged for 10 penalties, including a team-worst six for holding. The Ravens had an opening at left guard after Ben Powers signed with the Denver Broncos last offseason. Simpson joined the Ravens’ practice squad in December 2022 and then won the training camp battle in 2023 over rookie Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and former third-round pick Ben Cleveland.

Simpson was a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft by the Las Vegas Raiders, and he started 21 games in three seasons — including all 17 in 2021. He was waived by the Raiders in December 2022 and was picked up by Baltimore nine days later.

In Kinlaw, whose one-year agreement was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets get a rotational piece for their defensive line. With Solomon Thomas, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods becoming free agents, they need to sign multiple defensive tackles. Kinlaw, drafted by the 49ers with the 14th overall pick in 2020 in hopes that he could replace star tackle DeForest Buckner, has had a career filled with stops and starts because of injuries, especially in his knees.

Finally healthy in 2023, Kinlaw had his best professional season as the primary backup behind Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead on the interior. He appeared in all 17 regular-season games and finished with 25 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 12 pressures. He also had four tackles in the Super Bowl LVIII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Through his first three seasons, Kinlaw, 26, was limited to just 24 games and posted just 1.5 sacks and an interception. Because of those struggles, the Niners declined the fifth-year option on Kinlaw’s rookie contract before the 2023 season.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Jamison Hensley and Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.



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