A key cog in the trenches for the New York Jets is set to get paid this offseason.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus projected the contracts for the top 100 NFL free agents in 2023.
Offensive tackle George Fant made the list and is projected to receive a two-year deal for $11 million.
Up and Down Tenure for George Fant on Jets
That new contract would pay Fant $5.5 million per season. That would make him either the 25th highest-paid left tackle or the 13th highest-paid right tackle in the NFL next season, per Over The Cap.
After a career year in 2021 where the former Western Kentucky product played almost exclusively at left tackle, he likely had his sights set on a much larger payday.
- 71.1 overall
- 75.1 pass block
- 59.9 run block
Although due to a rash of injuries and constantly being forced to pivot between left and right tackle Fant was underwhelming in 2022.
- 48.4 overall
- 46.7 pass block
- 56.3 run block
Fant is 30 years of age and he will turn 31 before the start of the 2023 season.
A Trail of Broken Promises From Jets to George Fant
I spoke with Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic on my podcast and he said it’s unlikely that Fant returns to the Jets next season.
When Fant originally signed with the Jets back in 2020 on a three-year deal for $27 million he was promised the gig as the starting left tackle.
However a little bit more than a month later the Jets invested the No. 11 overall pick in the first round to select Mekhi Becton.
Fant was supposed to be the blindside protector but that new draft pick forced him to jump over to the right side of the formation.
Fast forward to this past offseason at the beginning of training camp, it was revealed that Becton was flipping to right tackle and once again Fant was promised the left tackle gig.
However, after Becton went down for the season during the preseason the Jets once again made an audible at the line of scrimmage.
They signed veteran Duane Brown to take over at left tackle which forced Fant back to the right side.
Head coach Robert Saleh tried to spin it in a positive light saying his blessing was also his curse. The fact that he is capable of playing both on the left and right side makes him incredibly valuable to an NFL team.
However, if Fant had it his way he would stay on one side all the time.
After years of broken promises, Fant appears ready for a fresh start with a new NFL team where he can play the position he has always wanted to at left tackle.
If Fant wants an honest answer to his left tackle question ahead of free agency, the Jets can’t provide it.
What is Becton’s health status? Is Brown going to retire or return to the Jets in 2023? Are they going to add more bodies in free agency? The trade market perhaps? Or what about the 2023 NFL draft?
That level of uncertainty is likely going to push Fant to a greener pasture next season and beyond.