The Jets went through the opening six weeks of free agency without signing a center, and they made it through seven rounds of the NFL Draft without taking one, too.
So it should be pretty obvious by now: Jonotthan Harrison is their guy.
The 27-year-old Harrison re-signed with the Jets shortly before the free agent market opened in March, inking a two-year, $5 million contract with $2.5 million guaranteed. At the time, it looked like he was being brought back for depth at the center position, with the Jets' seemingly on the prowl for a different starter.
But now, at least by default, the starting job seems to be his.
And maybe that was the Jets' intentions all along. They did talk with the agent for free agent center Matt Paradis in March, but they really didn't make much of an effort to try to sign him or the other top center on the market, Mitch Morse. And they weren't exactly aggressive in trying to add one in the draft, either.
Back at the league meetings in late March, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear the Jets were "comfortable" with the 6-4, 300-pound Harrison as their starter, even as he kept the door open to pursue other options. New coach Adam Gase praised Harrison too.
And apparently, they meant it.
"I watched enough (film) last year on Jonotthan that I know what he brings to the table, especially his intelligence," Gase said out in Phoenix. "His ability to kind of run that group I was really impressed with. He has a lot of abilities that we need in this offense against the teams we're going to be playing this year. I really saw a lot of good stuff on tape."
Harrison did play well for the Jets, making eight starts in the final nine games after Spencer Long's finger injury prevented him from being able to accurately and consistently snap the ball. The Jets ended up cutting Long in February (he quickly signed with the Buffalo Bills). Their faith in Harrison had a lot to do with that decision.
And Gase clearly believes the Jets can get by with the former undrafted free agent out of Florida, even if he is a bit undersized.
"The way that I look at it is that center spot, it's not 1973 where we're playing every game is a 3-4 defense and he's going against a 360-pound nose," Gase said. "His spot, his job is going to be moving laterally a lot of times and helping guards. We're not going to play a ton of 3-4 teams this year. He doesn't have Vince Wilfork going at him."
Of course, that doesn't mean the Jets aren't interested in upgrading the position if they can.
According to a source, they were considering drafting Penn State guard/center Connor McGovern in the third round of the draft on Friday night (93rd overall), but the Dallas Cowboys took him with the 90th pick instead. And the Jets also brought in free agent center/guard Stefan Wisniewski for a visit in mid-March. He left without a deal, but they could certainly revisit their interest in the former Philadelphia Eagle this spring.
For now, though, the Jets are seemingly set to ride with Harrison in the middle of their new-look offensive line.
"We're always going to be looking for our players to just keep improving and getting better and learning from mistakes and learning from experience, playing time," Gase said. "And I think (Harrison) is the kind of guy who does that from what I've seen on tape and in my short conversations with him."