Fant was signed as a free agent back in 2020 and assumed the starting gig as the Jets’ right tackle. He ended up starting 14 games and surprisingly rose to the challenge as a middle-of-the-pack starter.
Back in March, we knew he was likely a roster lock after half of his 2021 salary became fully guaranteed. Although what we didn’t know was Moses would eventually become available this late in the process.
That also surprised the Jets and forced general manager Joe Douglas to call an audible at the line of scrimmage. Adding Moses to the rotation was a “no brainer” decision for the franchise.
So where does that leave Fant heading into next season?
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Some Much Needed Clarity on the Situation
Moses is a stalwart right tackle that has a longer and more proven track record than Fant. While there may be technically a competition this fall, it’s clear and apparent that the former Washington Football Team stud will win that going away.
Which leaves things in a very awkward and precarious position. With Fant being a roster lock, due to his contract situation, it left the Jets with two apparent options.
The first thought was potentially shifting Fant to guard. When you take a closer look at the green and white offensive line everything is set outside of right guard:
- Mekhi Becton, left tackle
- Alijah Vera-Tucker, left guard
- Connor McGovern, center
- ???, right guard
- Morgan Moses, right tackle
By playing Fant at guard, in theory, you’d be getting the most bang for your buck. You’re already paying the guy for 2021, you might as well use him. Although that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Connor Hughes of The Athletic explained that shifting Fant to guard is “not something the Jets are considering right now.”
Fant has never played guard before and while his athletic background suggests he could make the transition, it’s not a guarantee.
Fant Is Still a Very Important Cog to This Jets Machine
While Fant is now shifting into a backup, swing tackle role, that doesn’t mean he isn’t an important piece of this puzzle.
Moses has started 96 consecutive games at right tackle for Washington, but injuries happen in the NFL all the time.
The Jets have been experiencing that harsh reality with their superstar left tackle Mekhi Becton. In his first professional season, the former Louisville product has struggled to stay healthy.
If the Jets never signed Moses, here’s who the team would have to turn to if Becton got hurt: Conor McDermott or Chuma Edoga. Initiate gag reflex?
The health of rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is paramount to the success of this upcoming season. This Moses addition not only upgraded the right tackle position, but it also insured that Wilson would be protected with depth.