Attention, please — the mullet is back.
As of 8:34 a.m. this morning, the New York Jets have elected to re-sign offensive lineman Dan Feeney after losing out on impending free agent Morgan Moses the night before. Brian Costello of the New York Post was first on the scene, reporting a one-year deal for the fan-favorite blocker.
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Key Depth, Great Hair
Aside from his awesome look and his natural gift as a showman — don’t forget his beer-chugging escapades at the New York Islanders’ playoff games last spring — Feeney proved to be an important reserve in 2021.
His versatility makes him invaluable, as Feeney could play pretty much any OL position in a pinch — although he specializes at center and guard. Last year alone, he took snaps at center, left guard, inline tight end in big formations (extra OT), on special teams, and even one from the slot!
According to Pro Football Focus, Feeney had a career campaign in the Jets system, even if his usage was more limited than in past seasons. His 79.3 grade as a run blocker actually ranked first for the entire offensive line (83 run-blocking snaps) and during a Week 17 start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the reserve earned a fantastic 92.8 run-blocking grade at center.
He was worse in pass protection but did not get charged with a sack, allowing four QB pressures over 101 pass-blocking snaps.
This might be looked at as a minor move but it’s a big one for Joe Douglas, as he looks to build on this franchise’s organizational depth in 2022. Feeney stepped up in that role during his inaugural season with the Green & White and he’ll look to do it again in year two.
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The Current Shape of the Offensive Line
Douglas has improved the O-line since taking over as general manager, although there were some growing pains initially. Heading into 2022, it looks better than ever.
- LT- George Fant/Mekhi Becton
- LG- Alijah Vera-Tucker
- C- Connor McGovern
- RG- Laken Tomlinson
- RT- Becton/Fant
With Fant and McGovern coming off career seasons under OL coach John Benton and Tomlinson filling the void at right guard, the major question mark is now Becton. Can the former first-round talent come back and dominate — as he did in flashes his rookie year — or are his durability issues a long-term concern?
Robert Saleh challenged Becton at the end of the year, noting that he’d have to win the LT job from Fant. Hopefully, it acts as motivation for the big man, who has been sharing videos of himself training hard with Duke Manyweather.
The depth is the other concern. The Feeney move is huge because it allows Douglas to account for center and guard with one roster spot. Conor McDermott also returned and players like Greg Van Roten and Chuma Edoga are currently still under contract as of now, among others.
No Jets fan would complain if they brought Laurent Duvernay-Tardif back in place of ‘GVR,’ who is a cut candidate, and expect Douglas to add at least one more offensive tackle in free agency or the draft.