Jets Predicted to Lose $27 Million Starter to NFC Squad

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh walking down a hallway.

The New York Jets could be losing a hog molly in the latter stages of free agency.

With the 2023 NFL draft over, Brad Spielberger of PFF recently predicted the top landing spots for the best remaining free agents. That list included veteran offensive tackle George Fant who was projected to sign with the Chicago Bears.

Chicago used the No. 10 overall pick on offensive lineman Darnell Wright in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. However, Spielberger believes it would be a “good idea to add a cheaper veteran swing tackle” to the mix.

Spotrac’s market value projections believe Fant can sign a two-year deal for $6.6 million at this stage of free agency. Spielberger argued that Fant could be a “cheap flier” for the Bears to kick the tires on.

Jets Door Is Likely Closed on George Fant Reunion

Fant just completed a three-year $27 million contract he originally signed to join the Jets back in 2020.

The 30-year-old who will turn 31 before the start of the 2023 season dealt with an array of injuries last year. He missed nine games in 2022, two games in 2021, and another pair of contests in 2020.

While you can never say never, it sure seems like the Jets chose to go in an alternate direction on the offensive line this offseason.

Gang Green added Trystan Colon, Cedric Ogbuehi, Wes Schweitzer, Billy Turner, and convinced Duane Brown to return for a No. 17 NFL season.

In addition to those free-agent additions, the Jets also selected Carter Warren with the No. 120 overall pick in the fourth round of April’s draft.

Key to 2023 Season Success Is Jets Protecting QB

For the better part of the Jets’ history, they haven’t had good quarterback play. It seems like they finally solved that problem this offseason with the acquisition of superstar passer Aaron Rodgers.

With the quarterback issues figured out, the next big task for the green and white is protecting Rodgers in 2023.

It won’t matter how good your quarterback is if he can’t stay upright. Gang Green didn’t invest in an offensive tackle early during the 2023 NFL draft.

As a matter of fact, the first time they took a whack at that pinata was on the third day of the draft with the aforementioned selection of Warren out of Pittsburgh.

That means the Jets will be relying on a group of hired veteran mercenaries this offseason and the health of last year’s group.

Gang Green’s offensive line was one of the most snakebitten positional groups from an injury perspective in the entire National Football League in 2023.

Any good NFL team needs a little bit of luck and the Jets will be hoping for a lot of it next year. On paper, you can appreciate the potential of this unit, but nearly every projected starter is entering 2023 with some major question marks.

Mekhi Becton’s health. Duane Brown’s age. Alijah Vera-Tucker is coming off of a torn triceps. Joe Tippmann is a rookie. Laken Tomlinson is coming off of the worst year of his career. Connor McGovern was signed to a cheap contract.

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