Is Mekhi Becton’s tenure as a Jet over? What would be the next move for them?
The New York Jets have announced today that third year tackle Mekhi Becton will be out for the year again after suffering an avulsion fracture in his right knee cap during yesterday's practice as reported by NFL Network analyst Ian Rapoport. Becton, who sat out the remainder of the 2021 season after only playing a handful of snaps in week 1, will be missing the entire 2022 season without even playing a single down. With the amount of frustration going around the fanbase and a little bit of the organization (even though they won’t say it publicly), it’s beginning to raise the question as to what will the Jets decide to do with the offensive tackle position going forward?
Anytime you see an injury in the NFL especially one that sidelines a player for an entire year because in this league nothing is guaranteed and everything can change. In Becton’s case that sad reality could come into face for him as this would be the second year in a row where he won’t play due to an injury. It’s a cruel scenario and you almost feel bad but it is a business and the team will move on with or without him. The frustrating part of it all is that he had an entire year to get back in shape, but after showing up to minicamp out of shape. It left the fans wondering how impactful he can actually be? Now to his credit he did lose a bunch of weight when he showed up to training camp but the fact that he had to sit out the majority of the reps not only because the Jets wanted to ease him back but also there were reports that he was throwing up on the sidelines as well. This indicates to me that maybe he wasn’t in the best shape in terms of cardio.
As much as it’s terrible to say this, it may be time for the Jets to move on from Mekhi Becton. Regardless of how much potential he has, the fact that we are now going on two years without seeing him on the field tells me that we can’t trust him enough to stay healthy for seventeen games. Injuries happen and it’s unfortunate but this team cannot continue to rely on him to be there. With what they have now, the Jets can’t go into the season with only Max Mitchell and Chuma Edoga to back him up. Which means that they need to bring someone else in, at least for this year and focus on the long term answer next offseason.
As of right now the Jets have been linked to Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown who was cut by the Seahawks this offseason. Brown who will be 37 this year had a solid year for Seattle, was cut due to knee concerns as well (Reported by Rich Cimini). But despite some rough patches at the end of the year, finished on a high note. Brown would be the clear cut choice to replace Becton this year because of the experience he has and his durability. However the Jets may have to spend a bit more to get him, he is also getting interest from other teams as well.
The next option would be a reunion of former Jet Brandon Shell who spent the last couple of seasons with the Seattle Seahawks as well. Shell, who is 30 years old, revived his career after not starting off the best with the Jets who had drafted him. I don’t think he may be the perfect fit, but it’s better than nothing. Other names to consider as well are former Chief Eric Fisher and Bryan Bulaga, both who had successful careers that could be an option to replace Becton. The Jets could also make an addition via trade for guys like Eagles tackle Andre Dillard or Bears second year tackle Tevin Jenkins who the new regime doesn’t seem to high on at the moment, so gang green could get him for cheap.
GM Joe Douglas made an emphasis that he wants to build a great offensive line and so far he is doing that which makes me confident that he will find someone to replace him. Although it’s unfortunate that we won’t see Becton in this newly revamped offensive line, I do believe the Jets will be fine. Let’s not forget that this squad was ranked 11th last year and seem to have gotten better week after week. Which is why I believe that Mekhi Becton’s tenure with the New York Jets could come to an end.
Photo Copyright: Vincent Carchietta