The NY Jets are expected to be looking for at least one new starting offensive tackle this offseason. As it turns out, they might need two new starters.
ESPN's Rich Cimini recently reported on an episode of his Flight Deck podcast that the Jets are not expected to re-sign Mekhi Becton this offseason. Cimini insisted that the Jets have no plans to place the franchise tag on Becton and that he'd be surprised if the former first-round pick was re-signed.
Becton is set to be a free agent this offseason after the Jets declined to pick up his fifth-year option. The former Louisville star has started 12 of 13 games this season and bounced back following consecutive season-ending knee injuries.
Still, Cimini suggests that both the Jets and Becton might be looking for a fresh start and a change of scenery. As Cimini noted, Becton is "not the Jets’ cup of tea." Take that for what it's worth.
"I do not foresee Mekhi Becton going back to the Jets in any form next year. They are not going to tag him, I can tell you that much & I’d be really surprised if they signed him unless it was a one-year prove-it deal. Mekhi Becton is just not the Jets’ cup of tea, I think this coaching staff would like to move on, & to be quite honest I think Mekhi Becton would like to move on as well & get a fresh start somewhere else."- Rich Cimini
Mekhi Becton reportedly isn't in the NY Jets future plans
Becton worked hard this offseason to change the narrative that had dominated his first three seasons in the NFL. Injuries sidelined him in 2021 and 2022, and he was determined to get in the best shape of his career and stay on the field in 2023.
He's done just that. While the Jets' offensive line has suffered through a slew of injuries, Becton has been one of the lone constants in the starting five. His best ability this season has been availability.
But while Becton's health has been a pleasant surprise, his performance on the field has been inconsistent. Becton has allowed a whopping nine sacks in 12 games this season, one shy of the NFL lead held by Andre Dillard.
He hasn't faired much better as a run blocker, either, with a Pro Football Focus run-block grade of 51.8 that ranks 67th out of 82 qualifiers. Becton hasn't been a complete liability, but the numbers paint the picture of a below-average starter.
That, combined with his extensive injury history, will likely scare the Jets away from making any sort of long-term commitment. Cimini speculated that a one-year prove-it deal could make sense for the Jets, although there's probably a team that will offer more in free agency.
Becton's draft pedigree and obvious talent could make him a worthwhile reclamation project for a different team. And as Cimini alluded to, the Jets' coaching staff just doesn't appear to be very high on the former 11th overall pick.
Expect some significant changes to be made to the Jets' offensive line this offseason, perhaps none more significant than the likely departure of Mekhi Becton.