Jets releasing durable guard Laken Tomlinson, AP source says. Move saves New York about $8.1 million

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The New York Jets are releasing durable veteran left guard Laken Tomlinson, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The 32-year-old Tomlinson spent the last two seasons with New York and started every game, but his release — which was not a total surprise — will save the Jets about $8.1 million in cap space this offseason.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday night because the team hadn’t announced the move. ESPN first reported the Jets’ plan to release Tomlinson.

The move is part of an offseason overhaul on the offensive line for the Jets, who used 13 starting combinations while struggling with consistency and performance. Starting left tackle Mekhi Becton is a free agent, who might not return. Starting center Connor McGovern is also a free agent, but he missed the last 10 games with a knee injury and rookie Joe Tippmann was solid in his place.

General manager Joe Douglas will focus on revamping the offensive line in the offseason while trying to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is expected to be healthy after missing all but four snaps with a torn left Achilles tendon. Tippmann and versatile guard/tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, who missed all but five games with a torn Achilles tendon, are the only certain returning starters.

Tomlinson was one of Douglas' big free-agent signings two years ago, bringing in the one-time Pro Bowl selection on a three-year, $40 million contract in 2022. But Tomlinson, who has started 114 consecutive games dating to 2017, struggled at times — along with the rest of the ever-changing O-line beside him.

Tomlinson was due to count $18.9 million on the Jets' salary cap next season. He'll count $10.7 million in dead money for New York.

The 28th overall pick by Detroit out of Duke in 2015, Tomlinson spent his first two seasons with the Lions before being traded to San Francisco just before the 2017 season. He was mostly solid in five years with the 49ers and was selected to his only Pro Bowl during the 2021 season.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl