The New York Jets hit the jackpot when they signed veteran offensive tackle George Fant back in 2020.
He initially signed a three-year deal for $30 million and Gang Green gambled on his athletic traits. It paid off as he became a solid contributor and an absolute life-saver last season when he had to step in for an injured Mekhi Becton at left tackle.
Now he wants to be paid for his services.
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Some Trouble in the Neighborhood
On Wednesday, June 15 NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport shared that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minkah Fitzpatrick had come to terms on a new four-year deal worth over $73.6 million.
Fant saw the tweet from the NFL and responded to it by saying, “must be nice.”
Fant is entering the last year of a three-year deal he signed back in 2020. His 2022 cap hit is $11.1 million and he is set to reach unrestricted free agency next March.
During the NFL combine Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network shared that both the Jets and Fant’s representatives have spoken about a contract extension.
When Fant met with the media in late April he confirmed that report saying “they have had some conversations” and he reiterated that he wants to spend the rest of his career in New York.
Some Things to Figure Out
Obviously, things aren’t going well in those contract discussions for Fant to come out publicly to take a not-so-subtle shot at the Jets.
In life, they say timing is everything and during Wednesday’s open media availability head coach Robert Saleh went out of his way to pump up Fant:
“Let’s not forget about how good of a job George did and make sure we give credit where credit is due.”
This was in response to a million Becton questions at the presser and Saleh wanted to make sure we didn’t forget about the impact Fant had on the team.
The analytics back up Saleh’s point as the talented veteran had a career year, per PFF:
- 71.1 overall grade
- 75.1 pass block grade
- 59.9 run block grade
There have been points during his six-year NFL career where his grades have been better, but this run with the Jets is the first time he has been relied upon as a full-time starter.
Fant played in 15 of the 17 games and only gave up one sack in 2021.
During his days with the Seattle Seahawks Fant was the swing tackle and jumbo tight end.
The 29-year-old will turn 30 before the start of training camp. He is coming off of offseason knee surgery but Saleh expects him to be ready for the start of camp.
It is obvious that every level of the Jets organization loves Fant, but will they be willing to pay a soon-to-be 30-year-old mega-money on a multi-year deal?
This is a complicated question that is certainly influenced by the lack of proven options at offensive tackle on the bench.
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