One of the worst-kept secrets of the NY Jets' offseason has been the team's desire to stick with George Fant at left tackle over the returning Mekhi Becton. That notion was confirmed by head coach Robert Saleh when speaking to the media on Wednesday.
The Jets plan to start the incumbent Fant, who is coming off a career year, at left tackle while Becton will shift over to the right side of the line. It's a move that's been in the works for months and is evidence of the faith the Jets have in their veteran tackle.
That faith could materialize in the form of a brand new extension in the near future.
The Athletic's Connor Hughes reported on Wednesday that the Jets were "working toward" an extension for Fant. Former Jets defensive lineman Leger Douzable seemed to agree when he tweeted out earlier, "don't be surprised to see a George Fant extension soon."
The NY Jets might extend George Fant in the near future
The Jets originally signed Fant to a three-year, $27 million contract prior to the start of the 2020 season. Fant had been little more than a swing tackle/fringe starter to that point, but the Jets saw potential in the former college basketball standout.
His first season in green and white was subpar at best as Fant struggled at times as the team's starting right tackle. An injury to Becton in Week 1 of the subsequent season opened the door for Fant to move back to what he believes is his natural position.
The results were spectacular. Fant excelled at left tackle and finished as one of the best pass-blocking left tackles in the NFL. Even at age 30, the Jets believe that Fant is a late-bloomer who still has plenty left in the tank.
It's no surprise that the two sides are working on an extension, especially after the official announcement that Fant will be sticking at left tackle. Negotiations should be a lot easier now with Fant officially locked into a set position.
The Jets clearly believe that Fant's 2021 season wasn't a fluke, and there's every chance the two sides agree to terms on an extension before the start of the regular season. Fant is notably set to be a free agent at the end of the year.
George Fant will be the Jets' left tackle in 2022, and the organization is hoping that he continues to maintain that role for the foreseeable future.