The New York Jets’ best player by most accounts in 2021 was left tackle, George Fant. Following the season-ending knee injury Mekhi Becton sustained in Week 1, Fant could not have stepped up and filled in any better on the blindside of Zach Wilson. He allowed just one sack. Fant was signed by the Jets in 2020 and had a good first year. Last year, he broke out and played at a high level. Now, he enters the final year of his three-year contract signed in 2020 with a lot at stake.
Many have speculated whether or not a deal between Fant and the Jets will come to fruition at some point before the start of the regular season. The main holdup is the fact that last year was Fant’s first time playing on such a tremendous level.
According to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, Fant enters Jets training camp with the “most to come out of it.” He stated that he is in the final year of his contract, and the Jets have still not extended him. Hughes said Fant is “banking on” himself.
From the Jets’ standpoint, Hughes described it as a “wait and see” approach, with Fant only having one career year to date. Hughes concluded with, “if he’s able to go out there and show in training camp that he deserves to be this team’s left tackle and he earns that left tackle job, and then he goes out there throughout the 2022 season and performs like a top-15, top-10 offensive tackle, well this guys going to be getting a massive contract.”
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PFF recently shared a projection of what a new deal between the Jets and Fant could look like. The contract they used for the Jets to base an extension on was the one recently agreed to in January between the Washington Commanders and Charles Leno Jr. That deal was over three years and worth $37.5 million. The projection PFF gave the Jets for Fant was three years for $35 million with $19 million of that guaranteed.
A deal right in the range of $12 million per year seems fair for the Jets and Fant. Fant will likely look for something a bit higher. If no deal is agreed to before the start of the season, it will be fascinating to see what happens. Hopefully, Fant continues to excel, and the Jets are able to sign him long-term to continue leading the offensive line.