NY Jets OT Mekhi Becton has lost over 50 pounds this offseason

NY Jets, Mekhi Becton
NY Jets, Mekhi Becton / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA

The NY Jets recently decided to decline the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of former first-round pick Mekhi Bectonan expected decision given Becton's lengthy injury history.

Despite this, the Jets remain very encouraged by Becton's progress this offseason, and there's every chance that he will be able to earn an extension with his play on the field in 2023. Of course, the first step is staying on the field.

Becton has appeared in just one game since his rookie season as a result of two separate knee injuries. His weight has been a prominent topic of discussion surrounding the former 11th overall pick, but Becton has done his best to dispel any concerns about his physical conditioning this offseason.

Per ESPN's Rich Cimini, Becton is down to 342 pounds, meaning that he's managed to lose over 50 pounds over the course of this offseason. That's a remarkable physical transformation for a player who reportedly weighed as much as 400 pounds last summer.

Just one look at Becton's social media activity this offseason shows the progress that he's made. Check out this photo from last week.

NY Jets OT Mekhi Becton is healthy and motivated ahead of a critical 2023 season

Becton is now set to enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2023. He will be a free agent at the end of the season, meaning that he has everything to gain this year.

Despite rumors that the Jets planned to select an offensive tackle early in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Jets didn't address the position until their fourth-round addition of Carter Warren. Warren doesn't figure to be in the starting conversation this year.

That means Becton is currently penciled in as one of the team's two starting tackles, along with returning veteran Duane Brown. The assumption is that Brown will handle left tackle duties while Becton will start at right tackle.

Regardless of where he plays, Becton will be given an opportunity to start this season. And given how the first three years of his NFL career have gone, that opportunity wasn't a guarantee.

The Jets are optimistic that Becton's hard work will pay off this season. Both Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas have spoken highly of their former first-round pick, and the organization still believes in his talent.

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Mekhi Becton has gotten himself into the best shape of his career. Now, it's all about continuing to prove his critics wrong on the field.