Becton Bounced for the Season: What Now?
In 2021, Mekhi Becton experienced a season-ending injury in the first game of the season which brought about durability questions, which even led to the "bust" word being thrown around by those in the Jets fandom. A year later, after a vigorous rehab routine, semi-daily battles with trolls on twitter, and ignoring every hater imaginable, Becton showed up to camp looking like the athletic freak Joe Douglas drafted in 2020.
It was truly beginning to feel like Becton was turning a corner in his career. Content in his new role as the franchise's right tackle, Mekhi was showing off in the early days of camp. Until, unfortunately, he limped off the field with an apparent leg injury. The Jets initial fears of a season-ending injury were confirmed a day later, as Becton was diagnosed with a patella fracture.
So, for the second season in a row, Becton will be on the shelf for an entire year. While he begins another long and grueling rehab, the Jets are left with one question; who will play right tackle for gang green in 2022?
Stick with the depth:
The Jets depth at tackle is mediocre at best to say the least. It's made up primarily of the two veterans Chuma Edoga and Conor McDermott. In brief fill-in rolls in the past, Edoga has shown to the coaching staff that he is not a starting caliber tackle in the NFL. McDermott, although a fan favorite after his touchdown catch last season, is similar in his reputation as a below-average NFL starter. Sticking with the current depth at this position is hopefully worst case scenario for Saleh and Douglas.
Try the new guy:
Another potential option at replacement tackle for the season is rookie Max Mitchell. The Jets coaching staff views Mitchell as a potential NFL starter, but that won't be for a few years down the line. As things stand, he's a developmental player with league-starter potential. Personally, I'm never against giving the young guys a chance and seeing what they can accomplish when they're put to the test, but it appears Saleh and Douglas hold a different opinion than I do.
Sign a veteran:
There is one name in free agency that I, every beat writer, and all of Jets twitter have been eyeing since the news of Becton's injury came out: Duane Brown Jr. The 15-year veteran and New York have apparently shared "mutual interest" according to PFF, and he has even visited the facility in the past couple of days. The one question that remains for Brown is; does he want to play for a team that may not be a contender? Now in the twilight years of his career, Brown is expected to sign for a team who has a legitimate Super Bowl chance. If the Jets throw him the bag, however, he may not be able to turn down the offer.