Earlier this week the Washington Football Team released veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses.
It was a cost-cutting move for the organization as they set their eyes for the future. WFT saved $7.75 million with the release.
He’s made every start for Washington over the last six years going 96-for-96. WFT added players during free agency (Charles Leno Jr) and the 2021 NFL draft (Samuel Cosmi) to prepare themselves for the future.
The 30-year suddenly reaching free agency this late in the process has stirred up a ton of NFL interest, should the New York Jets throw their hat into the ring?
Jets Should Resist the Urge
Moses is a proven player coming off of a career year in 2020. He was the sixth highest-graded right tackle last season, per PFF (80.6 overall grade).
Despite that, he’s an offensive tackle that has predominantly played on the right side. The gaping hole on the offensive line for New York is at right guard:
- Mekhi Becton (left tackle)
- Alijah Vera-Tucker (left guard)
- Connor McGovern (center)
- ____________________ (right guard?)
- George Fant (right tackle)
The Jets already have their right tackle for next season in George Fant.
Contract Status Makes This Situation Clear
Half of Fant’s contract became fully guaranteed in March ($4.5 million) which essentially made him a roster lock. So all the talk about cutting him, eating the money, then spending even more on Moses never seemed to make sense.
General manager Joe Douglas doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who enjoys lighting money on fire.
In 2020, the Jets had overflowing amounts of money but chose to cling to it.
For instance, the Jets could’ve swung for the fences and spent elite money on a guy like Jack Conklin, but they chose Fant instead. Instead of chasing a proven track record, the Jets went for traits and banked on it translating.
The 28-year old became a full-time right tackle for the Jets last season and played in 14 games. He was only charged with two penalties and only allowed three sacks, per PFF.
It’s about time Douglas gets credit for this free-agent signing.
Last year Fant signed a three-year deal for north of $27 million with $13.7 of that guaranteed.
A lot of people criticized the move (here are a series of articles that went in that direction):
- “Why Jets’ worst offseason move was signing Fant?“
- “Fant signing is a puzzling decision.”
- “Did Douglas watch Fant before he signed him?”
There’s no question it was a risky move, but it paid off. Fant wasn’t the best right tackle in the league, but he wasn’t the worst. He held down the fort and projects to be even better in this new wide zone scheme that’ll take advantage of his athleticism.
“This guy came to the Jets with limited experience and mainly was that extra offensive tackle with the Seattle Seahawks. Last year was his first season starting for New York. Look at his basketball background, you can see that athleticism on tape,” ESPN NFL Analyst Damien Woody said on the Badlands feed. “I think the Jets are going to be a lot better upfront in 2021. The talent has improved and the system is better suited for these guys especially Fant which will tailor to his strengths.”
A lot of people made fun of the move, but it’s interesting that there aren’t people now complimenting Douglas on it? If we can’t get that, can we at least put some respect on Fant’s name?
If the Jets are going to splurge in free agency it should be at cornerback or maybe at guard, not at a position the team is clearly set at. Let’s stop the Moses to New York talk before it even gets underway.