Is There any way Mekhi Becton is With Jets in 2024?
Let’s start off by making it clear that we fully expect Mekhi Becton to play elsewhere in 2024. The odds of him returning to the Jets have got to be incredibly slim for a myriad of reasons. Starting with his comments on the team prior to the start of the season.
It was in an interview with Bob Glauber of Newsday that Becton raked the Jets over the coals. He talked of the team ignoring his complaints of an injured knee that led to the injury getting worse and costing him a full season. He offered a tepid response to a question his relationship with the front office at the time.
107 of Breece Hall's 178 yards came to the left side against the Patriots yesterday. Strong finish to the season for Mekhi Becton
Could he return to the @nyjets in 2024?
As a starter I would guess no. As a guy who can come in and compete? More likely but still slim chance.
— Glenn Naughton (@JNRadio_Glenn) January 8, 2024
Blaming the Jets and giving the impression his feelings toward the club were anything less than glowing could not have gone down well inside the walls of 1 Jets Drive even despite the big man dropping fifty pounds.
From the Jets perspective, Becton was a huge injury risk who had just missed the two previous seasons with the aforementioned knee injury. The team likely felt they’d stuck it out with a guy whose commitment was questioned while they allowed him to work his way back. And just before he was set to step on the field for the first time in over a year, the interview dropped. Not a great look for Becton.
Then there was the tweet. Becton, working at right tackle early on to accommodate left tackle Duane Brown tweeted to his followers “I. AM. A. LEFT. TACKLE.”, which could not have gone down well with a team that was trying to get Becton on the other side.
To the surprise of many, Becton would miss just one start in 2024 while playing on both the left and right sides of the offensive line. Prior to a late-season meltdown in which he surrendered six sacks over a four game stretch, Becton was solid yet unspectacular through the season’s first dozen or so games.
Whether it was fatigue, injury or disinterest, Becton fell apart as the season came to a close with the exception of the team’s season-ending victory over the Patriots. In that instance, the Jets pounded the ball all day long with several big runs coming on Becton’s side. A strong finish to a far from perfect season.
But now, with free agency approaching, the Jets and Becton will likely part ways. But is there a road to a Becton return? Despite it being a very narrow road, yes there is.
The Jets just played a season in which they used 14 different offensive linemen and started 13 different O-line combinations. If the Jets learned anything at all this season, it should have been the importance of depth up front.
Given Becton’s poor play down the stretch, there’s a chance he won’t generate the market he’d hoped to at the season’s outset. Just yesterday Becton said that he would like to return to the Jets in hopes of playing with Aaron Rodgers.
In a weak free agent market, offering Becton a one-year deal with no guarantee to start might be in the Jets best interest. And it may be in Becton’s too. He’d likely be competing with a rookie or journeyman free agent.
Should he fail to win a starting job, the Jets would have a veteran backup who may, with a lighter workload, be able to have a massive impact as an jumbo package or swing tackle.
Will it happen? Unlikely. Should it be completely ruled out? Perhaps not.