- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Jets are off to a quick start in what’s expected to be a busy offseason.

The team announced Monday night that it signed right guard Brian Winters to a four-year contract extension.

Winters was scheduled to become a free agent in March, but the Jets secured one of the most consistent performers on an offensive line that could be revamped next season.

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Winters, 25, missed the last two games of the season when he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The 2013 third-round pick out of Kent State was inconsistent during his first two seasons, but became a reliable starter at right guard.

Among the Jets’ 10 scheduled unrestricted free agents, Winters was expected to be the team’s priority to re-sign.

Left tackle Ryan Clady is not likely to be back because of his $10.5 million salary cap hit for next season. Clady missed half the season with a shoulder injury in his first year with the Jets. Ben Ijalana, Clady’s replacement, is scheduled to be a free agent. Center Nick Mangold also could be a salary-cap casualty.

With Monday’s move, Winters and left guard James Carpenter are two starters on the offensive line who are sure to return.

Winters became the starter at left guard early in his rookie season, and started the first six games in 2014 before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

He slid over to right guard in 2015, replacing the injured Willie Colon and making 10 starts. He started 13 games this season before tearing his rotator cuff, which required surgery and will sideline him a few months during the offseason.


For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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