There was hope for Brian Winters after a strong end to an otherwise rough rookie season. Like fellow rookies Geno Smith and Dee Milliner, Winters played well during the last two weeks of 2013. Like Smith and Milliner, this did not carry over into 2014.
Winters tore his ACL in October againbst Denver. By that point, Winters was responsible for 20 pressures on 217 pass blocking snaps. That 9.2% rate would rank among the worst for tackles in the NFL. At guard it is almost unfathomable. Think about it. Tackles face the most athletic edge rushers the league has to offer. They have nobody to help them on the outside. At guard the rushers are less athletic, and there is help on both sides. Jahri Evans allowed the most pressures in the league at guard with 47, but he was only allowing a 6.6% clip.
Winters was unfortunately not much of an asset as a run blocker either. He struggled to gain leverage and use his hands well. Rewatching the Green Bay game alone, I counted six missed Winters blocks that led to the failure of a run play.
There is not a good way to say it. Two years into his career, Winters is one of the least effective guards in the National Football League. With a cap hit under $800,000, the Jets might as well bring Winters back to training camp to see whether they can get something out of the 2013 third round pick. I think we are at a point where Winters doesn't just have to earn a starting job. He has to show improvement to justify his spot on the roster. Oday Aboushi wasn't particularly great as a replacement, but he still clearly outplayed Winters.