NY Jets sign Alijah Vera-Tucker, two draft picks remain unsigned

NY Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker
NY Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets rookies reported to training camp on Tuesday as the march toward the preseason continued. And with the rookies in the building, the Jets wasted little time taking care of business.

The Jets announced that they had officially signed first-round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker to his standard rookie contract — a four-year, $15.9 million deal with a fifth-year option.

Vera-Tucker is the eighth Jets draft pick to sign his rookie contract leaving just Zach Wilson and Elijah Moore as remaining rookies without deals.

With rookies now present at the team facilities, expect those two deals to get done in the near future.

The NY Jets have high hopes for Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2021 and beyond.

A two-year starter at USC, Vera-Tucker shined as both a guard and tackle in college, but will be expected to immediately step in as the Jets' starting left guard.

The Jets traded up nine spots in the 2022 NFL Draft to select the player who they believed was one of the best offensive linemen and overall players in the class. In fact, Vera-Tucker was a top-10 player on their overall board.

General manager Joe Douglas had the following to say about Vera-Tucker shortly after the Jets drafted him.

"We felt we had a unique opportunity to get a top-10 player in our minds as our board was stacked. To go up and get a guy like Alijah Vera-Tucker, a player that has started at tackle, has started at guard and has been highly productive at both. That versatility and that production is something we really value."

Joe Douglas

Douglas continued to restructure the offensive line this offseason and Vera-Tucker was the focal point of that change. He joins 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton as another young core piece of a revamped offensive line.

The Jets have made the offensive line a priority over the last two years, and that's good news for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. The plan is to avoid placing Wilson in as poor of a situation as the team's last quarterback, Sam Darnold, was saddled with.

Vera-Tucker should help matters.

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The Jets are taking care of business before the official start of training camp on July 27th. Eight down, two to go.