Mekhi Becton is finally back in Florham Park. And that’s about all the Jets can say about their supposed franchise left tackle.
Robert Saleh says he is “not going to get into” if Mekhi Becton showed up at the weight the #Jets wanted him to. Doesn’t comment much on if he’s in shape, other then he’s with the training staff
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) June 15, 2022
Let’s annotate Saleh here: No. And no.
The Jets still have plenty of reasons for optimism as they wrap up minicamp and head into summer break before training camp. Great draft, strong offseason, second-year quarterback — this should be a competitive team this fall. It may even end up being a playoff-caliber one if everything falls right. But concerns about Becton are beginning to look like a fledgling crisis at this point.
Becton’s decision to skip the voluntary offseason program after a disastrous second season was curious. But he had a reasonable excuse — the birth of his first child — and the Jets said all the right things. They expressed full faith in him, downplayed concerns about his weight and wrote off his lingering knee injury as no one’s fault.
And now Becton in town and clearly not in the condition the Jets want. There is still time before training camp to get ready, but he has lost the benefit of the doubt.
It’s a tough spot for Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas. They just passed on the opportunity to draft Becton insurance by taking Sauce Gardner at No. 4 with all the top offensive linemen still on the board. And while they could flip veteran George Fant to left tackle, that would still require Becton to be on the right side. Making the situation even more challenging is the fact Becton showed real promise as a rookie after the Jets took him over the Buccaneers’ Tristan Wirfs, who has already made an All-Pro team.
The Jets believe they have gotten Zach Wilson everything he needs to take a big leap in Year 2. They thought that included a blindside protector. But at this point, you have to really wonder about Becton’s future.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]