The immediate question that this raised was, what will become of right tackle George Fant if Moses becomes a Jet?
Fant has a guaranteed salary of $4.45 million in 2021 and a post-June 1 dead cap hit of $5.45 million according to Over The Cap, so it wouldn’t really make sense to release him.
The argument could also be made that Moses and Fant would both be two of the Jets’ top five linemen, and as we know Joe Douglas has always said that the best five linemen will start.
With the glaring weak spot at right guard, many Jets fans have speculated on whether Moses or Fant could make the switch inside, assuming left tackle Mekhi Becton is healthy by the start of training camp.
I have to concede to Damien Woody here, as an authority on the position. He’s right, a highly coveted tackle like Moses would not sign with New York just to change his expertise. Especially when he has other suitors, and especially when Fowler is reporting a potential multi-year deal.
Fant has performed admirably at the position since joining the Jets and his athleticism fits Mike LaFleur’s scheme but at the end of the day, he’s still not Moses, who received an 80.6 grade on Pro Football Focus last season.
If Moses Signs, What Happens to Fant?
Hypothetically, let’s say Moses signs with the Jets like all reports are indicating he may. If Woody is right, he immediately slots into the right tackle role. Then what?
The obvious response is that Fant should play right guard, right? Not according to Woody.
Personally, I never loved Fant as an option on the interior, so I have to agree with Woody here. The former Seattle Seahawks left tackle has only ever played as a bookend, and he makes a better swing tackle than he does a guard.
Fant lacks the lower body anchor that NFL guards are known for. You need to stay low in most of those run-blocking lanes and the right tackle is much more of an upright space-blocker that can get outside with quickness and agility.
At this point, it is unlikely that Fant becomes the Jets’ right guard.
Time to Get Creative
So if Moses isn’t playing right guard and Fant isn’t playing right guard, what the heck is Douglas’ plan?
Woody offered a simple explanation. The Jets have quarterback Zach Wilson on year one of his rookie contract. That financial freedom was one of the crucial determining factors in the Jets’ decision to move on from Sam Darnold.
Why not take out an insurance policy on Becton when you can afford it? After all, the 2020 first-round pick did miss three starts last season. He’s also currently dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot.
Fant would be worlds better than Conor McDermott or Chuma Edoga, the current backups at left tackle.
I have another idea. Of course, the bulk of Fant’s workload would come as a swing tackle if he’s not playing guard, but why not use him in other scenarios as well?
Hear me out, Fant was a former basketball player and tight end in college. No, I’m not suggesting he compete with Chris Herndon and Tyler Kroft for the job. He has put on some weight since then, but he could become very useful in goal-line and jumbo formations.
It’s not uncommon to add a third offensive tackle in certain rushing downs, and Fant fits that mold to a T. He could slot in next to Moses or Becton in these jumbo sets, adding an extra blocker that can create massive holes on the edge.
This also opens up the trick-play option near the end zone. Fant can catch, he played tight end and had tremendous ball skills from his basketball days. He also had one career catch with the Seahawks, and Fant really shows his athleticism and speed on this play.
Whatever the Jets decide to do, it’s never a bad thing to have an embarrassment of riches at an integral position like offensive tackle. Moses gives this offense options and insurance, and that’s why it makes sense to sign him.