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Jets want Mekhi Becton to return in his best shape next season

Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton during training camp

Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton during training camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. on Aug. 11. Credit: Noah K. Murray

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The Jets want left tackle Mekhi Becton to return for his third NFL season in the best possible shape after a knee injury marred his year.

Becton dislocated his kneecap in Week 1 at Carolina, and never returned.

"We want Mekhi back on the field," general manager Joe Douglas said. "Mekhi wants to be back on the field. I think for him [it’s] attacking this offseason and coming back in the best possible shape he can be in. I expect big things from him next year. We all want Mekhi back."

Becton, the No. 11 pick in 2020, missed OTAs due to plantar fasciitis in his foot. Rumblings about the 6-7, 370-pound Becton’s conditioning ensued.

He underwent surgery in September that included removing some loose particles in his knee. The timetable was 4-8 weeks, but Becton was never able to return to practice. Douglas echoed coach Robert Saleh’s reasoning for Becton’s inability to return – his size.

"Mekhi’s a bigger man," Douglas said. "It took him longer to heal than we originally expected. It wasn’t really anyone’s fault. It wasn’t Mekhi’s fault. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault. The process became longer than we originally thought."

The Jets want to believe they have the left side of the offensive line secured for a long time with Becton and rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. That depends on how Becton recovers and returns. George Fant stepped in for Becton and played well this season.

Locking up Quinnen

Quinnen Williams just completed his third season and is eligible for a contract extension this offseason. Douglas said he hasn’t had any conversations with Williams’ agent, but the Jets are high on the young defensive tackle.

"He is a player that we all value and appreciate and want to keep here for a long time," Douglas said.

Williams, the No. 3 pick in 2019, said he hasn’t thought about his contract. He’s focused on improving. Williams considers himself in the top 10 of interior defensive linemen, but he believes he can climb that list and "dominate and take over football games" the way Aaron Donald does.

"I feel like I have that ability, also" Williams said. "I got to tap into that level this offseason to become that player that I know I can be and the organization needs me to be."

Saleh wants Flacco

Saleh wants veteran Joe Flacco to return next season to back up Zach Wilson.

"I’ll be vocal on that one, absolutely," Saleh said.

Flacco and Mike White will both be free agents. Saleh said "it would be perfect" if both re-signed and the quarterback room stayed the same.

Maye's future

Douglas wouldn’t commit to re-signing safety Marcus Maye, who played this season on a franchise tag. Maye didn’t tell the organization he was arrested and charged with DUI last offseason.

"Marcus is a valued member of this team," Douglas said. "Any decision we make with regards to Marcus or any player on expiring contracts the decision is going to be made in the best interest of the team now and moving forward."

Two-minute drill

The Jets’ opponents are set for the 2022 season. At MetLife Stadium, the Jets will play the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Bengals, Ravens, Lions, Jaguars, Bears. Their road games will be at Buffalo, Miami, New England, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota, Seattle. ... The Jets signed 10 players to reserve/future contracts: kicker Matt Ammendola, receivers DJ Montgomery and Tarik Black, tight end Brandon Dillon, offensive linemen Isaiah Williams, Grant Hermanns, Ross Pierschbacher and Dru Samia and defensive linemen Tanzel Smart and Hamilcar Rashed.

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