The New York Jets received some grim injury news from head coach Robert Saleh this week regarding a key starter.
Offensive tackle George Fant was projected to return to the lineup this week after spending a month on injured reserve. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen and it looks like the earliest he could return to the lineup is after the bye week in late November.
It’s a troubling new set of circumstances for a team that is trying to build upon their impressive 5-2 start to the 2022 season. However, there might be a light at the end of this tunnel.
Jets-Browns Could Pull off Monster Jack Conklin Trade
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter shared on Monday Night Football that the Jets might not be done making moves. One of the names he threw out there as a possibility was Cleveland Browns offensive tackle, Jack Conklin.
Rich Cimini of ESPN echoed those sentiments on his podcast saying general manager Joe Douglas is “trying to get a starting caliber offensive tackle” ahead of the November 1 NFL trade deadline:
A potential trade has been brimming throughout the week with countless fans, insiders, and analysts sharing their thoughts on a deal.
Play Like A Jet said this is “something to keep an eye on” and added that a trade would make sense due to Conklin’s contract structure.
Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report listed Conklin as a player the Jets “must consider trading for” especially considering the recent injury to Alijah Vera-Tucker.
In theory, Conklin could be a plug-and-play option at right tackle at a minimum through the rest of this season and potentially long term. The Jets already showed with the James Robinson trade earlier this week that they are going all in on this season at 5-2.
The big-time offensive lineman has appeared in and started 84 games in his seven-year career in the pros. Conklin is only 28 years of age and has an $8 million base salary in his final contract year this season.
An Interesting Jack Conklin-Jets Plot Twist
Back in 2020 when Conklin hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career, he was actually supposed to join the Jets roster.
During the legal tampering period where NFL teams are granted access to players set to hit the market. News broke on social media that Conklin and Gang Green had agreed to a wink-wink contract that was set to be finalized when free agency actually opened.
However, we soon learned that someone put the cart before the horse. Instead of signing with the Jets as it was initially reported, Conklin instead signed a monster three-year deal for $42 million to join the Browns roster.
It has been a hit-and-miss story for Conklin during his time in Cleveland.
In his very first campaign, Conklin earned the second All-Pro nomination of his career and delivered elite grades across the board from Pro Football Focus:
- 84.3 overall grade
- 82.5 pass block grade
- 78.7 run block grade
The good times, unfortunately, didn’t last as Conklin suffered a myriad of injuries in 2021 the most serious of which (torn patellar tendon) knocked him out for the year. All in all, the former Michigan State product missed 10 total games.
However, he has bounced back in a major way this season with the Browns returning to his old form. This would be a win-now move that could also set the Jets up for future success by building a massive wall around quarterback Zach Wilson.