Offensive tackle Mekhi Becton could be heading into his final year with the New York Jets. According to a report from ESPN, the New York Jets declined to pick up the fifth-year option on Becton's rookie contract.
As the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Becton's fifth-year option would have paid him $13,565,000 for the 2024 season. Instead, he nows heads into the final year of his rookie deal, during which he will count for $5,869,197 against New York's books while drawing a base salary of just over $3.1 million. (The remaining cap hit comes from the prorated portion of his signing bonus.)
Becton had a strong debut season with the Jets in 2020, starting 13 games at left tackle and earning starter-quality grades from Pro Football Focus. Becton has played just one game for the Jets since then, though, as he has struggled with both injuries and conditioning.
New York a seemingly moved on from Becton in its team-building, having drafted Max Mitchell in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft and Carter Warren in the fourth round in 2023, as well as signing Duane Brown, Billy Turner and Cedric Ogbuehi, all of whom are tackles.
Still just 24 years old, well-pedigreed, and capable of playing at a high level if he can ever get healthy and in proper football shape, it's possible, if not necessarily likely, that somebody else would take a shot on Becton if his time with the Jets were to come to a premature end. Coaches love nothing more than trying to prove they can get the best out of a talented player who didn't live up to expectations elsewhere, and Becton would certainly fit that bill.