Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith in action against the Packers during...

Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith in action against the Packers during an NFL wild-card playoff game on Jan. 14 in Arlington, Texas. Credit: AP/Maria Lysaker

The Jets made a big splash move on Friday to help protect Aaron Rodgers, adding eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, according to a league source. Smith reportedly is getting a one-year deal worth up to $20 million with incentives.

This is a significant signing for the franchise and for general manager Joe Douglas. The Jets needed someone to protect Rodgers’ blind side and found one in the well-established and decorated Smith.

A first-round pick of the Cowboys in 2011, Smith, 33, has been one of the NFL’s best left tackles for most of his career and is a potential Hall of Famer. He has been an All-Pro five times, including last season, when he was second-team All-Pro.

Smith, who is 6-5 and 330 pounds, has been slowed by injuries in recent years. He hasn’t played more than 13 games since 2015 but still has been impactful. He’s been named All-Pro twice and made five Pro Bowls in the past eight years.

Last season, Smith appeared in 13 games for the Cowboys and allowed one sack in 847 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Jets have made a number of moves since free agency began on Monday, but this was by far the biggest. Douglas has been working on rebuilding and strengthening the offensive line. The Jets went into the offseason needing three new starters, and Douglas got them. Smith is an impressive finishing piece.

The Jets acquired right tackle Morgan Moses in a trade with Baltimore and signed former Ravens left guard John Simpson. They will join right guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and center Joe Tippmann up front along with Smith.

The Jets’ line is much stronger now than it was last season, when they used 13 different starting combinations. Douglas will continue to add to it because the Jets will need depth.

Former Packer tackle David Bakhtiari has been linked to the Jets because of his relationship with Rodgers. The Jets also have the No. 10 pick in the draft. The popular opinion all along has been that the Jets would use that on a tackle, but they now have a little more position flexibility and could take a wide receiver or Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.

This is a crucial offseason for Douglas and coach Robert Saleh. Owner Woody Douglas basically put them on alert that the Jets have to win this season. If they don’t, Douglas and Saleh likely will be relieved of their duties.

Douglas has been committed to building around and for Rodgers, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon tear four snaps into the 2023 season. Rodgers is 40, and ensuring that he has a strong line in front of him and weapons he can deliver the ball to has been Douglas’ mission.

Jets fans have been waiting for Douglas to do something major, and now he has — but more needs to be done on offense. The Jets need a wide receiver.

Some receivers came off the board Thursday night as Keenan Allen was traded from the Chargers to the Bears for a fourth-round pick, Marquise Brown signed with Kansas City and Curtis Samuel joined the Bills. There still are a number of receivers the Jets could pursue, including Mike Williams, Tyler Boyd, Odell Beckham Jr., Hunter Renfrow and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Douglas also could trade for one.

If Douglas needs more money to make another big deal, he can restructure some contracts or extend them and add more years at a smaller number. That’s what the Jets did with C.J. Mosley, whose new two-year deal cleared $14 million this season. John Franklin-Myers, D.J. Reed and Tyler Conklin are candidates for reworked contracts.

Before the Smith deal, the Jets made a move on defense, bringing back an important piece of their line. Tackle Solomon Thomas is returning to the Jets on a one-year deal, a league source said. Although the Jets already signed two interior defensive linemen in free agency, Thomas was expected to be back.

Thomas, 28, is coming off one of the most productive seasons of his seven-year career. The former first-round pick of the 49ers had a career-high five sacks and 31 tackles in 17 games last year as part of the Jets’ defensive line rotation.

The Jets probably are done at defensive tackle now after re-upping with Thomas and signing free agents Javon Kinlaw and Leki Fotu to be part of a group that’s led by two-time Pro Bowler Quinnen Williams.

They’re in the market for an edge rusher, though, after losing Bryce Huff, who led them with 10 sacks last season, to the Eagles on Monday. The Jets could turn to Jadeveon Clowney as his replacement. Clowney is scheduled to meet with the Jets on Tuesday. The three-time Pro Bowler had 9.5 sacks for the Ravens last year. He’s also met with the Panthers and has other visits planned.

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