Former $53 Million NFL Veteran Is ‘Visiting the Jets’: Report

Duane Brown

Getty New York Jets free-agent target Duane Brown earned his largest contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

It’s no secret — the New York Jets are still looking for help at offensive tackle.

Like last offseason, the theory is that general manager Joe Douglas would prefer to enter Week 1 with some veteran depth behind George Fant and Mekhi Becton. After all, the Morgan Moses move was a tremendous success in 2021 so why not repeat that same strategy this summer?

The first potential free-agent target was Riley Reiff, who emerged as a candidate in early June. Unfortunately, Reiff chose to sign with the Chicago Bears on July 26.

There have been a couple of other names tossed around, like Eric Fisher or Jason Peters, but next on the wishlist of most fans has been Duane Brown — a five-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro of the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks. Well Gang Green nation, he’s expected to be in the building tonight on August 6.

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Brown Visiting Green & White Scrimmage

ESPN’s Rich Cimini broke the story that spread like wildfire across Jets Twitter. “Free-agent OT Duane Brown is visiting the Jets and will attend the Green & White scrimmage tonight, per source,” he informed. “Brown is a former Pro Bowler who started every game last season for the Seahawks [and] turns 37 on Aug. 30.”

At the height of his career, Brown inked a $53.4 million deal with the Seahawks in 2012 and remains a premier name within the OT market despite his age.

Many reacted to this huge news on social media, including Heavy’s own NFL insider Matt Lombardo. “Duane Brown is an ideal fit, and makes even more sense given the Jets’ significant concerns about George Fant being able to get back to being fully healthy and effective in time for Week 1,” he voiced.

Fans may be thinking — Fant? I thought this was a Becton problem. To be fair, it’s both, but the veteran is actually more concerning at the moment. His knee surgery occurred much later than Becton’s and Fant has been limited throughout offseason practices. He should be ready for Week 1, but some left tackle insurance would be nice.

Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania also pointed out why a Brown signing would be more related to Fant than Becton: “Duane Brown has never played an NFL snap at RT so it would be interesting to see if he’d be open to backing up both sides. Regardless, this would be a huge upgrade. Seems like he was still respectable last year, and would also be great for the locker room.”

If the Jets do indeed sign Brown, rookie Max Mitchell — a natural right tackle — could still act as Becton’s backup assuming he’s ready. That would provide quality depth on both ends of the offensive line heading into the regular season.

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Nice Knowing You

The unfortunate casualties of a Brown contract would no doubt be current left tackle reserves Conor McDermott and Chuma Edoga. The latter has outperformed the former in training camp so far but neither has been all that impressive.

Hence Brown’s presence at tonight’s scrimmage.

It wouldn’t be a major shock if a staff favorite and hard worker like McDermott returned with a veteran practice squad role but Edoga is less likely to stick around.

The former third-round pick of the 2019 draft class does show signs of some untapped potential. He also just turned 25 years of age. That generally translates to another franchise taking a shot on a player, considering good offensive tackles are few and far between.

As a Mike Maccagnan draft bust, Edoga actually stuck around longer than expected under the Douglas regime change. This signing would almost certainly act as the final nail in the coffin.


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