The Jets signed right guard Brian Winters to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Monday. Winters' new deal is worth nearly $8 million per year, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the contract .
A third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Winters was easily Gang Green's most notable impending free agent. He has started 41 games over the past four years.
Although the Jets will likely import new starters at both tackle spots in 2017, it's important to keep the interior of the offensive line intact. Winters, left guard James Carpenter and center Nick Mangold -- when healthy -- were the strength of an underrated ground attack that paved the way for 1,534 combined rushing yards for Matt Forte and Bilal Powell in 2016.
The next step is to find a successor for Ryan Clady at left tackle before general manager Mike Maccagnan tackles the daunting prospect of replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.