<
>

Source: Jets re-sign LT Ben Ijalana for two years, $11 million

Less than two hours before the start of free agency, the New York Jets retained offensive lineman Ben Ijalana, who projects as their starting left tackle.

Ijalana is signing a two-year, $11 million contract, a league source said Thursday. The first year, believed to be about $5 million, is fully guaranteed.

It's not a sexy move, but it's a solid move for the Jets. For one, they don't have another left tackle on the roster after declining to exercise Ryan Clady's option. Secondly, Ijalana is young (27) and can play multiple spots on the offensive line, mainly left and right tackle. If he had hit the open market, he probably would've been scooped up by another team.

Because it's not a monster contract, the Jets won't be precluded from drafting a left tackle in the second or third round.

The offensive line has undergone major changes in recent weeks, as they released Nick Mangold and Breno Giacomini. Their starting depth chart on the offensive line looks like this:

LT: Ijalana

LG: James Carpenter

C: Wesley Johnson

RG: Brian Winters

RT: Brandon Shell