mekhi becton jets
Vincent Carchietta | USA TODAY Sports

The Jets’ faith in Mekhi Becton has not wavered.

General manager Joe Douglas expressed support for the embattled left tackle yet again Tuesday during an appearance on WFAN. Douglas expressed optimism Becton will be ready for training camp and told midday hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney that Becton is in “a good place right now” after a tumultuous 2021 season.

“He has a lot of pride,” Douglas said. “He’s a competitor. He’s a competitive guy. I think he’s at the point now where he wants to prove some of these naysayers wrong, and I think he’s going to do everything in his power to get to that point come the start of training camp.”

Becton missed the final 16 games of last season due to a knee injury – one that was only supposed to sideline him for 4-6 weeks when it happened in Week 1 – and weight issues. He has not participated in the Jets’ voluntary offseason program to date while awaiting the birth of his first child. But Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh have said all the right things while their action spoke loudest during last week’s NFL draft.

The Jets had a golden opportunity to get Becton insurance with the No. 4 pick. But they took Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner with all the top offensive linemen still on the board. They could still flip Becton with right tackle George Fant, but that seems unlikely given their current tone.

“We’ve had good conversations,” Douglas said. “We feel like we have pretty good tabs on his weight. He’s in a good place. I’ll say that. He’s in a good place right now. He’s still rehabbing. He’s still getting healthy. The season doesn’t start tomorrow. I think when he comes up here, after the baby is born, when he is here for mandatory minicamp, throughout the period between mandatory minicamp and training camp, I know how important it is for him to come back in the best shape, the best possible health he can be.”

When Barber pressed Douglas on why Becton was still rehabbing what was considered a mild knee injury last September, the GM conceded it “this one just took longer than anyone predicted.”

“It really isn’t anyone’s fault, player or medical,” he said. “And it wasn’t for a lack of effort or trying. It just ran a little bit long. The communication has been great between him, his doctors, our doctors. He’s on a good course right now to be ready for training camp.”

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.