Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available.
The Jets had been linked to the top centers in the draft as a possibility in the second round. They have two picks in the second round (42 and 43 overall), one of which could be dealt to the Green Bay Packers for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Early in free agency, the Jets signed center/guard Wes Schweitzer, formerly of the Washington Commanders, to a two-year, $5 million contract. They showed interest in former Tennessee Titans center Ben Jones while maintaining communication with McGovern. They kept McGovern on the back burner as he shopped for a deal close to the $9 million a year he earned on his previous contract with the Jets.
The Jets now have four of their five starters from last year’s offensive line — McGovern, guards Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laken Tomlinson and left tackle Duane Brown. They are targeting an offensive tackle with the 13th pick.
McGovern, who turns 30 on Thursday, just completed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Jets that included $18 million in guarantees. He hit free agency for the first time in 2020 after four years with the Denver Broncos, and he became one of the key players in the Jets’ attempt to rebuild the offensive line.
Durability is his hallmark. McGovern played every offensive snap in 2022 and has missed only three games in his past six seasons. In three years with the Jets, he was the one constant on an ever-changing offensive line, playing in 48 out of 50 games.
With McGovern at center, the Jets ranked 23rd, 27th and 25th in rushing yards. He’s not considered an overpowering run-blocker, and the Jets employed an outside-zone scheme, which he said is best suited to his skills. He also had some issues in pass protection, ranking 24th out of 32 qualified centers last season in pass block win rate, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
McGovern hasn’t had much luck when it comes to winning. He has played on only one winning team in seven seasons — and that was Denver (9-7) in 2016, when he was inactive for every game as a rookie.
For his career, McGovern has played in 95 games, including 84 starts.
Jets fill need, re-sign starting center Connor McGovern