One month before the official start of free agency, the Jets are taking steps to lock up their most important in-house free agent. The Daily News has learned that Gang Green has begun contract talks with right tackle Austin Howard with an eye on signing him to a multi-year deal.

The Jets hope to lock up the 6-7, 333-pound Howard before free agency begins on March 11, according to a team source. Howard, who will turn 27 next month, made significant strides in his second season as a full-time starter, helping solidify an offensive line that paved the way for the league’s sixth-ranked rushing attack.

Howard has started every game the past two seasons after taking over for embattled predecessor Wayne Hunter, who was traded to the Rams before the 2012 season. He allowed only two sacks and committed two penalties in 2013 as the 23rd rated right tackle by Pro Football Focus.

Howard, who signed a one-year, $2.023 million contract as a restricted free agent a year ago, should be in line for a raise this time around. The Jets have about $20 million in salary cap space, but will free up considerably more money after a few expected cuts of players’ with bloated salaries.