When the Jets declined the fifth-year option on offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, it raised questions about whether he has any future with the team. But if he’s going to play, coach Robert Saleh wants him to know he has to earn it.
After Saleh told reporters that there would be open competitions at both right and left tackle involving Becton, Duane Brown, Max Mitchell, Billy Turner and Cedric Ogbuehi, Becton indicated on Twitter that he believes he ought to be the Jets’ starting left tackle.
“I. AM. A. LEFT. TACKLE!!!” Becton wrote in a tweet that he later deleted.
Asked about Becton’s tweet, Saleh said he’ll be the left tackle if he earns it.
“Go earn the left tackle,” Saleh said, via the New York Daily News. “Competition.”
Becton has been a disappointment since the Jets took him with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, but Saleh told reporters he has an opportunity this season.
“The expectation for him is no different than anybody else,” Saleh said. “It’s redundant, I feel like I say it to you guys all the time, but you wake up and find a way to get better and that’s who you are every single day. That’s the expectation. If it leads to starting, if it leads to a left tackle position, it doesn’t matter. If you go to bed satisfied with the way you approach each day and the way you attack it, odds are, it is going to work out in your favor. If it doesn’t, at least you go to bed knowing you tried your best.”
The Jets drafted Becton because they think that at his best, he has the potential to be an elite left tackle. He needs to prove it.