Jets Meeting With Potential George Fant Replacement: Report

George Fant, Jets

Getty New York Jets offensive tackle George Fant embracing his quarterback Zach Wilson during an NFL contest.

The New York Jets have been doing a curious amount of homework on the offensive line this offseason.

General manager Joe Douglas has been transparent that the trenches will always be a priority with him running the operation. However, the strong interest in the offensive tackle spot, considering on paper he has his two starters locked in, is interesting, to say the least.

That reached an entirely different level this week when they met with one of the top prospects available in the 2022 NFL draft.

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Some Big Time Heat

Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross worked out at his Pro Day on Tuesday, March 22.

When he met with the media he revealed that two NFL teams have shown the most interest thus far, the New York Giants and the Jets.

By most of the pundits, he is widely considered the third-best offensive lineman on the board behind Evan Neal of Alabama and Ikem Ekwonu of NC State.

Cross is a two-year starter and his best trade is in pass protection. The 6-foot-5, 307-pound big man is most experienced as a left tackle, although at his Pro Day Cross spent a ton of time at right tackle.

Jets reporter for the New York Daily News, DJ Bien-Aime reiterated the Jets’ interest saying “they like him.” Gang Green also met with him at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

What Does It All Mean?

This could be the insert random “due diligence” for the Jets in this process, however, there has been a ton of smoke throughout the offseason on the team doing homework on the offensive line.

Cross is fully expected to be a top-10 selection in the upcoming draft and the Jets have two picks in that range. Although seemingly on paper the Jets have their two starting tackles in Mekhi Becton and George Fant.

If you selected Cross, what happens to the other two? Does Douglas bring all three into camp and as someone recently told me, “it all works itself out.”

Or does he decide to trade one of them? Fant is entering the last year of his contract in 2022 and Gang Green could hit the eject button and trade him.

They could also have that same conversation about Becton who is entering his third professional season but has had an array of injury concerns.

All of this is a very complicated scenario that has so many ripple effects depending on what the Jets choose to do here.

Of course, they could also decide to address a slew of other needs like EDGE rusher, wide receiver, cornerback, or safety and there wouldn’t be any of these additional complicating factors involved.

Although based on the conversations this offseason, it seems like taking an offensive lineman with one of the Jets’ two top-10 picks is a very real part of the conversation. Or this could be the greatest smokescreen in the history of smokescreens.

If I had to speculate, it seems like Douglas is thinking multiple steps ahead. Fant is a free agent in 2023, Becton is entering a pivotal year, and there is no clear guy to step up to the plate if either falter or someone gets injured.

Selecting a guy like Cross would provide the team with an incredible insurance policy for this upcoming season and would give them a long-term answer beyond that.

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