Mekhi Becton
Syndication: The Record

Mekhi Becton is paying no mind to the noise around him.

The Jets‘ embattled left tackle said he plans to make critics “eat their words” during a defiant press conference after he reported to minicamp clearly out of shape.

Becton missed 16 games last year due to a dislocated knee cap suffered in Week 1. The initial anticipated recovery window was 4-6 weeks. But Becton never came back and his weight became an issue while sidelined. Then he missed the entirety of the Jets’ voluntary offseason program,

Jets coach Robert Saleh ducked questions about Becton’s conditioning and weight. Which is a tell-tale sign Becton is heavier than the Jets want and is not in great shape, although Becton claimed it was not an issue. But Saleh’s silence is telling. If Becton was where the Jets want, he would have said it.

There’s no confirming what Becton’s 2022 entails. While he was sharp as a rookie left tackle, his lost 2021 season combined with the solid performance of George Fant means the possibility of him residing on the blindside is anything but a shoo-in.

The smart move might be to keep Fant at left tackle (a role the veteran took on for much of last year) and plug Becton in on the right side. But even if Becton is ready for Week 1, the aforementioned concerns could linger — injuries are always possible. This means the swing tackle role could be more crucial than originally expected. Chuma Edoga or Conor McDermott might need to step in at any point if either earns a final roster spot.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.