Jets Predicted to Sign Key Starter to $35 Million Contract

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh on the sideline during an NFL game.

There is some budding optimism that the New York Jets will be able to lock down one of their key players hanging in limbo ahead of the 2022 season.

Offensive tackle George Fant is entering the last year of his contract and has proven to be a key piece to the puzzle. One of the biggest mysteries is what that contract would look like? Well, this week we got a unique insider prediction that provided some answers.

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A Structure That Makes Sense

Brad Spielberger is the lead salary cap analyst for Pro Football Focus and also contributes to Over The Cap.

He specializes in contracts and he put that knowledge to full use in a recent column for PFF where he projected contract extensions for players that’ll likely sign a deal prior to the start of the season.

In his group of players he picked out Fant and predicted what kind of contract he could land:

“The tricky aspect of negotiations may be that Fant wants to be viewed, and paid, as a left tackle and retain his spot, but Becton will battle for that spot in training camp after recovering from injuries and getting his weight in check.

Even if Fant kicks back over to the right side, he proved his value as a really good swing option who can start at left tackle if needed, and this should be reflected in an extension.

Charles Leno Jr.’s three-year, $37.5 million extension with the Washington Commanders signed in January could serve as a blueprint, with Leno a year older but also fully entrenched as a left tackle.”

Contract Projection: Three years, $35 million ($11.67M per year), $19 million total guaranteed

That yearly average among all offensive tackles regardless of designation would make him the 26th highest-paid OT in the NFL.

From purely a left tackle perspective, that contract structure would make him the 18th highest-paid blindside protector in the league.

Finally looking at it from a right tackle lens, Fant would become the seventh highest-paid RT in the NFL. The only problem with that is Fant is already the seventh highest-paid right tackle in the NFL right now.

In 2022 he is set to make $9.1 million (good for seventh best). The next highest-paid right tackle in the NFL is Cleveland Browns stud Jack Conklin who is set to make $14 million this season.

So even with this projected raise, Fant would sit in the very same hierarchy among right tackles which could potentially cause some issues.

Impressive Turnaround

With veterans set to report on Tuesday, July 26 there isn’t a lot of time left to hammer out a deal.

The Jets front office and coaching staff have had effusive praise for the talented offensive tackle throughout the offseason.

Despite that they haven’t made a contract happen yet, one reason for that according to Connor Hughes is they may want to see it one more time.

Fant had a really good year last year, but the question remains was that a one-trick wonder or a sign of things to come?

If it’s a sign of things to come Hughes says Fant can continue to “bet on himself” and if he delivers in training camp and during the season then he will earn a “massive contract.” Whether that is from the Jets or one of the other 31 NFL teams in the league next year.

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