Insider: ‘Ship Has Sailed’ Between Jets & 23-Year-Old Star

New York Jets fans

Getty A frustrated New York Jets fan showing his displeasure during an NFL game.

There has been rampant speculation this offseason about the future of New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton.

Only two years into his NFL career after being picked 11th overall in the 2020 draft, Becton, 23, has been mired with issues regarding his weight and injury concerns. He never played after Week 1 of the 2021 season and, according to an April 12 ESPN story, he hit 400 pounds.

Now there’s some question about whether he’s played his last snap with the green and white.

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Becton Bombshell


VideoVideo related to insider: ‘ship has sailed’ between jets & 23-year-old star2022-04-26T10:04:04-04:00

On the April 25 episode of “The NFL Rhodes Show” The Athletic’s Dane Brugler suggested to host Lindsay Rhodes that the Jets might be done with Becton.

“There are plenty of people around the league that think (Becton will) never put on a Jets jersey again,” Brugler said. “Yeah, they think that ship has sailed.”

Many draft prognosticators expect the Jets to select a defender with their No. 4 overall pick, but Brugler suggested that New York could take North Carolina State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu if they didn’t feel good about Becton’s future.

“We don’t talk enough about the Jets going in that direction,” Brugler said. “If you are not confident about Becton, who is your left tackle – and that is where Ickey Ekwonu, if he is there at No. 4 – I think that would make a ton of sense.

Becton still has two more years left on his rookie contract and a fifth-year team option. But if the Jets were to pursue Ekwonu, then they could trade Becton during the draft, which starts April 28, or shortly thereafter.

“That would tell us what I’ve been hearing about Becton and whether or not he is in the long-term plans or if they want to bring him to training camp,” Brugler said.


The Ripple Effects


VideoVideo related to insider: ‘ship has sailed’ between jets & 23-year-old star2022-04-26T10:04:04-04:00

If the Jets were to take Okwonu and move on from Becton, it would be a stunning turnaround for general manager Joe Douglas.

Becton wasn’t only the No. 11 overall pick; he also was Douglas’ first draft pick as general manager of the Jets. According to an April 26 story in Forbes, Douglas “stuck his neck out” for Becton, doing “a ‘deep dive’ on Becton’s character” and speaking with his high school coach.

Becton, despite his turbulent two seasons, is still only 23 years old. With multiple years still left on his contract, there is an argument to be made to stay the course.

Heading into the 2021 season, a group of NFL executives, scouts and coaches told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that Becton has “hall of fame traits.”

One year later, would the Jets flip him at his lowest possible trade value? Given Douglas’ history, that doesn’t seem likely. He has been regarded as patient in his three years as the Jets’ general manager.

“I think what has defined Joe Douglas … has been patience,” said Jets reporter Olivia Landis in a June 2020 story on NewYorkJets.com, “a strength and trait he used to make many decisions regarding free agency, the draft, the team’s financial future and the culture.”


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