When Mekhi Becton suffered a season-ending kneecap injury, the New York Jets knew they needed to bring in outside help for a team that clearly wants to win now.
The Jets also knew they could count on George Fant to be ready to go at one of the offensive tackle spots; they just weren't immediately sure if it would be the right or the left.
The signing of free agent Duane Brown meant Fant would be kicked back to his former right tackle spot. After all, Brown hasn't played a single snap at right tackle and almost exclusively has been at left tackle.
This leaves Fant and the Jets in an interesting spot. Fant was better at left tackle for the Jets than he was on the right side, especially during the 2021 season.
He's also a free agent at season's end who just turned 30 years old. You can imagine Fant wants to maximize his earning potential, but now he's being asked to do it at what might be the lesser of his two positions -- and also, more often than not, the lesser-paid of the two spots on the open market.
If Fant is concerned with the potential financial ramifications of the move, he's not saying.
"Man, I don't know," he said Thursday. "I told you before I don't deal with that; that's what I have an agent for. He deals with the rest of that."
In a follow-up question about the left-right pay discrepancy at tackle, Fant reiterated: "I told you I don't deal with all that."
As for the switch itself, Fant said: "Obviously just another hurdle in the road, just something I've gotta do. Get back over there and get ready for the season."
Brown is 37 but has been remarkably durable in recent years, starting 33 straight games the past two seasons. He and Fant actually were teammates previously, too, spending the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons together with the Seattle Seahawks.
It's also the second time Brown's arrival has moved Fant out of the starting left tackle job. He was set to take over at the position for Seattle in 2017 but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, prompting the Seahawks to swing a trade for Brown from the Houston Texans.
So Fant might not love this latest move, but he's been through something similar before -- and still has a chance to cash in.
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