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What the Duane Brown signing means for the NY Jets in 2022 and the future

NY Jets, Duane Brown
NY Jets, Duane Brown / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Jets have reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year, $22 million deal with Pro Bowl offensive tackle Duane Brown. In doing so, the Jets have not only solidified the offensive tackle position for 2022, but they've also added a bit of flexibility to their future plans.

When the severity of Mekhi Becton's knee injury was revealed, it quickly became apparent that the Jets were going to have to make a move at offensive tackle. Fortunately, the team had already brought in Brown for a visit two days earlier.

Now, three days after Becton's injury, Brown is officially a member of the Jets. The exact structure of the contract is unclear at the time of writing, but the fact that it's a two-year deal makes it seem as though the Jets believe Brown could be a part of the solution in 2023 as well.

Not only is he going to step in as an immediate starter this season, but the Jets have afforded themselves some additional flexibility for next year. The Brown signing helps the team both in 2022 and 2023 as a result.

The Duane Brown signing is all about flexibility for the NY Jets

In the short term, Brown will fill the massive hole (literally and figuratively) left by the absence of Becton on that Jets offensive line. It's unknown if the concrete plan is for him to play left or right tackle, but the assumption is that his signing will result in George Fant swapping sides again.

Either way, Brown helps sure up an offensive line that has the potential to be one of the better units in the league this year if all five starters live up to expectations. The Jets shouldn't miss a beat with Brown replacing Becton in the starting lineup.

The more interesting discussion is what his signing means for the future. The Jets signed Brown to a two-year deal, providing increased flexibility for their 2023 plans.

The team could very well still go out and address the offensive tackle position next offseason, either via free agency or the NFL Draft. However, signing Brown means that there's a scenario where they don't have to do that.

The Jets have added one more option to their future plans. Perhaps Brown could return next year and compete with Becton for a starting job. Perhaps Fant walks and Brown is tasked with holding down the fort at left tackle for another season.

It's likely that Brown's deal will be frontloaded and the assumption is that the Jets won't be tied to him in 2023, but if they want him on the roster, the option will be there.

That increased roster and financial flexibility is a sign of healthy roster building. It's the sign of a general manager who knows what he's doing. And it's the sign of an organization moving in the right direction.

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The Duane Brown signing is a crucial move for the Jets in the short term and a savvy move for the future.

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