New Jets O-Lineman Connor McGovern Returning to His Roots


The Jets' unrestricted free agency signing of center Connor McGovern works for the Green & White on several levels. For one, McGovern may seem to be a Midwestern guy but he's got family in the New York area.

"That's where my family originated from so I'm going back to my roots,'' McGovern told Denver's 9News right after he agreed to the Jets' offer. "My dad and grandpa were born and raised in Brooklyn.'' In another interview he added that his father was born in New Jersey.

And of course the Jets are looking for hard-working, durable strongmen for the inside of their offensive line. And McGovern has that in spades. It began with his formative years, which he spent working in the family-owned potato-farming business in North Dakota.

Of that upbringing, he said: "When stuff isn't going right all we know how to do is work harder, so that's where I got that from. ... Football definitely runs in the family and I've been just taking that hard work I learned from my family to the football field.''

See the Best Images of the Former Denver Broncos Offensive Lineman

McGovern built himself into a solid pro in his four seasons with Denver. From a fifth-rounder out of Missouri in the 2016 NFL Draft, he being inactive his entire rookie season to working his way up to the right guard starter for the last five games of his second year as a Bronco. When Matt Paradis went on IR midway through 2018, McGovern shifted to center for the last seven starts, playing in 463 of the Broncos' 465 offensive snaps in those games.

All of which set the stage for 2019, which was remarkable in a few ways.

■ McGovern played in all 1,013 offensive snaps for Denver last year, one of only two Broncos at any offensive position to do that and one of only 10 NFL centers to play more than 1,000 snaps in the regular season

■ In addition, McGovern committed no penalties last season, including none that were declined or offset. He was one of only four NFL offensive players and one of only two O-linemen who played more than 1,000 total snaps (including special teams) in '19 and didn't have a single yellow flag thrown in their directions.

(The other OL was Joe Thuney, whom the Jets were reported to be interested in as a free agent acquisition, up until the Patriots re-signed him. The other unpenalized non-linemen were QBs Russell Wilson of Seattle and Carson Wentz of Philadelphia.)

One final McGovern note for now: He has trained as a power-lifter and as a boxer. And for the lifting part he has hooked up with a fellow named Matt McChesney at his Six Zero Strength + Training facility right near the Broncos' HQ in Englewood, CO.

Jets fans might remember McChesney, who made his NFL debut as a Jets defensive tackle for the last three games of the 2005 season. So that's another Green & White connection, and one that McGovern no doubt will renew before he heads east later this offseason in a return to his roots.

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