While it was rumored the New York Jets were a virtual lock to sign Jack Conklin, that did not happen and they pivoted to OT George Fant on a 3 year, 30 million-dollar deal. Effectively, it is a 1 year, 9-million-dollar deal as Fant is viewed as a perfect scheme fit for Adam Gase’s offense…
Fant was a UDFA for the Seahawks, as he was viewed as a project and long term developmental prospect coming out of Western Kentucky. He only had one year of playing football and he was college basketball player. Fant ended up starting 10 games his rookie year at left tackle and looked to be a promising find for the Seahawks. He then tore his ACL in 2017 and missed the whole season and the Seahawks traded for his replacement Duane Brown.In 2018-2019 Fant operated in a hybrid tackle/tight end role in Seattle where he was often used as a 6th offensive linemen and filling in at both LT and RT when the Seahawks had injuries at the position. Fant played 264 snaps at LT and 215 at TE. He graded out at 62.2 by PFF and let up 2 sacks and 20 pressures during his limited time at OT, which is not encouraging if you extrapolate those numbers over a full season.
It has been said the Jets are looking for more athletic offensive linemen for Adam Gase’s scheme. Fant’s 4.8 40-yard dash and his background playing tight end certainly fit that criteria. The problem is Fant has never started a full season at OT and ever since his knee injury he has not looked like a consistently competent OT. Fant would be best served as a swing tackle to really use his athleticism and be able to shield his sloppy technique but paying 9-10 million a season for a swing tackle could be a questionable allocation of resources.
My problem with Adam Gase’s scheme is the scheme is the end al, be all. He sacrifices good football players who do not fit his scheme for inferior ones who do. He refuses to tailor his scheme to the strengths of his players and that’s why you end with George Fant over someone like Bryan Bulaga who by every metric is a better football player and signed a similar deal with the Chargers in free agency. The Jets better hope Chuma Edoga puts it all together at right tackle because if Fant has to play 16 games it’s going to be a downgrade from what Kelvin Beachum gave them last year.