You can never have too many competent offensive linemen in the National Football League.
On Friday, the Jets sealed the deal with veteran right tackle Morgan Moses, signing the 30-year-old to a one-year pact worth $3.6 million.
The move to bring in Moses benefits all parties involved. Zach Wilson will have more protection for his rookie season, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton have another veteran on the line to help them develop on and off the field and general manager Joe Douglas continues to build this team toward contention by starting up front.
The only individual that could be a bit perturbed by the agreement, however, is George Fant.
Fant started 14 games for the Jets last season, his first year in green and white after three campaigns and 46 games with the Seattle Seahawks. Signed through the 2022 season, Fant projected to be the starting right tackle again in 2021.
Even if the Jets finished last season with the 29th-ranked offensive line (per PFF), that doesn't mean Fant wasn't going to factor into the equation. In fact, as pointed out by Rich Cimini of ESPN on Friday, Fant ranked only one spot behind Moses in pass block win rate, per ESPN Stats & Information. Moses was 39th out of 62, Fant was 40th.
This signing wasn't a case of the Jets seeking a replacement at right tackle out of desperation. It was an overall upgrade, utilizing financial flexibility to bolster depth and continue to develop a formidable unit on the starting offensive line.
Now, assuming Fant doesn't win the job in training camp, he'll transition into more of a backup role, helping out in multiple positions and filling in when injuries pop up throughout the year.
With questions about Becton's durability—he's currently working back from a foot injury and missed several games last season—Fant could seamlessly slot in at left tackle when necessary. He played that position in Seattle.
Meanwhile, Moses is about as durable as it gets on the offensive line. He started in every single game for the Washington Football Team since his sophomore season in 2015.
Fant is guaranteed $4.45 million of his $8.5 million salary for 2021. That's an investment to keep some talent on the second unit just in case, another box to check for the Jets en route to respectability.
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